Ministers must show they have a long term plan to prevent third wave

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today called on the Health Secretary to publish a detailed vaccination plan setting out the steps that will be taken between now and the summer and to warn that unless government communication is crystal clear, there is the risk of a third wave of the virus, even as the vaccine is distributed. 

The first Scots are to get the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday 8th December but a COVID-19 vaccination delivery plan, discussed at Cabinet on 1st December is still yet to be published. 

Mr Rennie said: 

“The first doses of this game changing vaccine are being delivered on Tuesday but the Scottish Government still haven’t published the COVID-19 vaccination delivery plan. 

“Ministers kept their cards close to their chest over care home testing, testing of students and the set-up of test and protect. The result was that each of these systems had major flaws which could have been avoided. The Scottish Government need to publish this plan now and allow it to be properly scrutinised and flaws rectified. 

“We have already seen confusion this week over whether the plan is to complete the vaccination program by spring, or whether that is just the first wave. This ambiguity needs to be stamped out. If the government is asking for months more of sacrifices, they need to be crystal clear about what the plan is and when people can expect to get their lives back on track if everyone plays their part. 

“In particular we need to know at what point will enough people have been vaccinated for businesses to reopen and normal social interactions to return. If ministers do not communicate this clearly, there is a huge risk that people will relax before the danger has truly passed. A third wave of deaths coming just as the vaccine is distributed would be a tough cross to bear. 

“Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to work constructively to inform the public and scrutinise the Scottish Government’s proposals as we have done throughout this pandemic.” 

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