Half of Scottish population has received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine

17 April 2021, 18:26

Nicola Sturgeon receives the first shot of the Astra Zeneca vaccine
Nicola Sturgeon receives the first shot of the Astra Zeneca vaccine. Picture: PA

By Harriet Whitehead

Half of the population in Scotland has received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, with Nicola Sturgeon praising the programme's "phenomenal progress".

It has met the target to offer first doses to all nine priority groups, by mid April.

A total of 2,733,387 people have now received their first dose of coronavirus vaccine according to the latest Scottish Government figures, with the country's population around 5.4 million.

It marks an increase of 11,303 from the previous day while 715,714 people have had both doses, with this figure up by 26,953 from Friday's total.

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Ms Sturgeon, who received a first dose of AstraZeneca on Thursday, paid tribute to those involved in the vaccination programme.

The Scottish First Minister said: "This shows the phenomenal progress being made by Scotland's vaccination programme.

"We have met our targets to offer first doses to all nine priority groups, those most at risk from Covid, by the middle of April and are well into the delivery of second doses to those groups.

"I want to pay a huge tribute to everyone who has contributed to the success of this programme, from the scientists and those who volunteered for clinical trials to the volunteer vaccinators and of course the 2.7 million people across Scotland who have rolled up their sleeves."

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The latest figures also show Scotland recorded two more deaths and a further 210 cases of the virus.

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However, the number of patients requiring intensive care had increased by two, to 18.

A total of 7,642 people in Scotland have now died within 28 days of testing positive for the disease.

Just 1.2% of tests for Covid-19 came back as positive in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, there were 109 people in hospital on Friday who had recently been confirmed as having coronavirus - down six from the previous day's total.

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The latest stage in lockdown easing was announced at an unscheduled Covid-19 briefing by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday.

Announcing the measures on Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon said: "We have always said we will keep plans under review and accelerate the lifting of restrictions if possible."

The improved data does not allow us to throw caution to the wind - not if we are sensible - but it does give us a bit of limited headroom."

So from the end of this week, you will be able to meet up with family and friends who live in different parts of the country."

Many of those reunions will be long-awaited, and much anticipated. Please do remember that meetings at this stage must still be outdoors - you cannot socialise in people's homes - and remember due to physical distancing, public transport capacity remains relatively limited."