Discussions are taking place between the four nations of the UK about “constrained” supplies of one of the coronavirus vaccines, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The First Minister said talks will continue “over the next few days” to see if there is any way of boosting supplies of the Pfizer vaccine.
It comes after Health Secretary Humza Yousaf warned Pfizer dose numbers will be “particularly tight” over the next few weeks, which he said could impact the rollout of the vaccination programme.
Mr Yousaf has already written to his UK counterpart Matt Hancock about the situation, which has come about after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advised the AstraZeneca vaccine should not be used for those aged under 40.
Speaking after Friday’s British-Irish Council meeting, which brought together political leaders from across the UK and Ireland, Ms Sturgeon said: “We are co-operating across the four nations in terms of vaccine supply.
“We know the Delta (Indian) variant is allowing this virus to transmit more quickly and therefore we have to do everything possible to make sure that vaccination happens at a pace that can keep it under control.
“Across all four of the nations, vaccination is going extremely well, but we do know that we have, as we have at points in the past, we have periods coming up where some vaccine supply will be more constrained, and over the next few weeks that looks as if it will be Pfizer.
“Remember Pfizer is now the vaccine we rely on for under-40s, people who had Pfizer earlier on have second doses coming up, so we are simply looking to discuss with all of the four jurisdictions to make sure that we are doing everything we can to maximise the supply we can get from the manufacturers and then use those supplies as effectively and efficiently as possible.
“Those are discussions that will take place over the next few days and right through this vaccination programme.”