Thanks to the dedication of vaccinators and frontline staff across the country, the Scottish Government has met its target of offering every eligible young person and adult over 18 an appointment by the end of the year.
And the unprecedented response to the call to get a booster or third COVID-19 vaccination to accelerate the country’s response to the new Omicron variant means nearly 77% of eligible adults had received a booster or third dose by 30 December.
The Scottish Government aimed to vaccinate as close to 80% of eligible adults with boosters by midnight on Hogmanay and had capacity to vaccinate more than 80% of eligible adults. However, high infection levels have meant thousands of people who were eligible to come forward for their booster had to delay their appointment.
Scotland leads the rest of the UK on first, second and third and booster doses, and continues to deliver one of the fastest and most successful vaccination programmes in the world.
The rapid expansion of the booster programme and other vaccine doses will continue into the New Year and young people aged 12-15 who are still to get their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will now be invited to reschedule existing appointments or attend drop-in centres from Monday 3rd January 2022.
Mr Yousaf said: “Since the emergence of the Omicron variant there has been an heroic and monumental effort by everyone on Scotland’s vaccination programme to make sure we can deliver booster vaccines as quickly as possible – my heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in the delivery of the programme and to everyone coming forward to be boosted.
“In the week ending December 26 – with staff quite rightly taking a break on Christmas Day and Boxing Day – and with many areas suffering high infection rates, we achieved record-breaking numbers of vaccinations, with 77,927 jabbed on the busiest day – that’s more than one every second during vaccine centre opening hours.”
He added that those who caught Covid before Christmas and were unable to make an appointment can still do so.
“We know that many people have been unable to attend their appointments due to the virus. This has been the most common reason for people cancelling their appointment via the helpline. Anyone who has had to delay their booster due to a Covid-19 infection or isolation period can arrange a new appointment, 28 days after their positive PCR test.
“To deliver maximum benefits we need as many people as possible to get boosted as quickly as possible. It is everyone’s duty to get a jab if you haven’t already - vaccination could literally save your life as well as keeping family, friends and loved ones safe.
“And it is never too late to receive your booster – or even a first or second dose – so please come forward as soon as possible, as there is capacity available to get you vaccinated.”