People aged over 40 in Scotland will be the next to be prioritised for a Covid-19 vaccine, the health secretary has confirmed.
Jeane Freeman said that Scotland will follow Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice on the next stage of the coronavirus vaccination programme.
People aged 40-49 will be prioritised for a Covid-19 vaccine in phase 2 of the vaccination programme, followed by those aged 30-39 and then those aged 18-29.
These groups will be vaccinated once all those in phase 1 (the over-50s and most vulnerable) have received a jab.
Ms Freeman said: “We welcome the interim advice of the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation for phase 2 of the vaccine deployment programme to continue prioritising people for vaccinations by age, as this is assessed to be the best way to address the risk of severe illness and mortality.
“All four UK nations will follow the recommended approach for phase two of the vaccine rollout, subject to the final advice given by the independent expert committee.
“Each government remains focused on the target to offer a first vaccination to all those in the phase 1 priority groups by the middle of April and the remainder of the adult population by the end of July subject to the availability of supplies.
“The vaccination programme is one of three key ways we are working to beat this virus, along with our expanded testing programme to identify cases and break chains of transmission and the important lockdown restrictions everyone in Scotland must follow.
“All these measures work to greatest effect when they work together.”
Speaking at Friday’s Scottish Government coronavirus briefing, she said that Scotland has recorded 27 deaths from coronavirus and 581 positive tests in the past 24 hours.
It brings the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – to 7,111.
The Health Secretary said 200,987 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 200,406 the previous day.
The daily test positivity rate is 3.3%, down from 3.7% the previous day.
There are 924 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, down 43 in 24 hours, and 80 patients are in intensive care, down nine.
She said 1,542,929 people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.