Covid in Scotland: Vaccine plan removed from Scottish government website

Covid in Scotland: Vaccine plan removed from Scottish government website

The Scottish government has removed its vaccine rollout plan from its website after concerns were raised that it contained sensitive information.

The document had details about supplies of the vaccine and timescales for when people might be given it.

But it was deleted on Thursday after the UK government said some of the data should not have been published.

The concerns centred on details of how many doses of the vaccine the UK is due to receive.

The PA press agency quoted a UK government source as saying: “The reason we didn’t want to publish these figures was because everyone in the world wants these vaccines.

“If other countries see how much we are getting, they are likely to put pressure on the drug firms to give them some of our allocation.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told her daily coronavirus briefing that the vaccine plan had been temporarily removed because the UK government had raised concerns about “the level of information we included on projected supply of the vaccine”.

She added: “The UK government has some commercial confidentiality concerns about that so we’re having a discussion with them about what can be published.

“The information in the plan about targets – starting with the JCVI clinical priority list and working onto the wider population – still stand.”

It comes the day after Health Secretary Jeane Freeman was criticised for revealing the location of a secret vaccine storage facility as she answered questions in the Scottish Parliament.

A Scottish government spokesman later admitted: “This location has not been publicly identified as part of the security protocols around Covid-19 vaccine distribution and therefore should not be reported.”

The security services have previously warned that details about the storage facilities should not be made public to avoid attracting “unhealthy interest” – with the Scottish government pledging to follow that advice “to the letter”.

The Scottish Conservatives said: “These mistakes potentially endanger supplies and risk impacting the rollout of the vaccine.

“We all want the delivery of the vaccine to succeed but these entirely avoidable mistakes suggest the SNP are running about like headless chickens behind the scenes.”

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