Edinburgh could have a mass Covid vaccine rollout as early as next month

NHS Lothian is preparing for a vaccine to be available as early as December 2020

A leaked email has revealed that NHS Lothian is planning for a Covid vaccine to be available as early as December 2020.

The email was obtained by MSP Neil Findlay who has said that the government should be more transparent about vaccine progress.

NHS Lothian director David Small wrote in an email: “NHS Lothian is planning for the delivery of a vaccine for Covid-19.

“Timescales are uncertain, but we are working to an assumption that a vaccine will be available from mid-December 2020.

“This will be a mass vaccination programme to achieve the most important public health goal in our lifetimes.”

He added later: “As part of the national response to Covid-19, NHS Lothian, along with colleagues across Scotland, is currently reviewing plans for mass vaccination, to ensure we are in a state of readiness to respond, as soon as a vaccine becomes available.”

Neil Findlay said: “After eight months of tortuous lockdown that has affected every citizen in the country, with people losing their jobs and businesses and most tragically their lives, it has taken a leaked email from NHS Lothian to establish that they are in fact planning to roll out a nationwide vaccine.

“This is the news people have been desperate to hear since the beginning of the crisis and instead of telling people about this game-changer, the government appears to want to hold back the information.

“They should be open and transparent with people. This should be a time of celebration not a time to keep people in the dark.”

A Scottish government spokesperson added: “We cannot be certain when a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine will be available.

“Our flu vaccination and Covid-19 vaccine programme board is considering how the Covid-19 vaccine will be deployed. This includes logistics such as who will deliver the vaccination and how it will be stored.”

Related articles recommended by this writer:

Edinburgh Uni is increasing security in student halls this Halloween

Return of Scottish students after Christmas ‘could be staggered’ says Education Secretary

Major Scottish universities failed to reduce their halls capacity despite Covid risk