Supply of the Pfizer vaccine will be “particularly tight” over the next few weeks and will restrict the vaccination programme’s rollout, Scotland’s Health Secretary has warned.
Humza Yousaf has now written to his UK Government counterpart, Matt Hancock, to ask what can be done to increase the supply of the vaccine.
Ahead of a four-nation call on Thursday, Mr Yousaf said Scotland needs more Pfizer doses if it is to “maintain or increase” the rollout, after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advised that the AstraZeneca vaccine should not be used for those under 40.
In his letter, he highlighted how more than 75% of over-18s have now had a first dose, with more than half the adult population fully vaccinated.
He praised the “tireless work of all involved” in the rollout and thanked the UK Vaccines Taskforce for securing supplies, acknowledging it is “working incredibly hard to maximise volumes of all supply, including Pfizer”.
Referencing the target to offer first doses to all adults by the end of July, Mr Yousaf wrote: “I am very clear that this is a race and we must therefore do absolutely everything in our power to accelerate our efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible.
“I appreciate we are all doing what we can in this regard, but I am conscious that the recent changes by JCVI on the role of AstraZeneca have placed increased pressure on our supply of Pfizer in particular.
“The latest forecast on supply would indicate that Pfizer will be particularly tight over the next few weeks and as a consequence the programme won’t be able to accelerate as much as I would wish.
“I would be grateful to discuss what more could be done to further increase the available supply in the coming weeks to support efforts to deliver the programme at pace.”