Responding to the news that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine cannot currently be distributed to some island communities, Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur commented:
“When the Pfizer vaccine programme was announced, questions were asked about the practicalities of delivering it to all parts of the country, given the strict storage requirements. However, I received a stonewall guarantee from the Health Secretary last week that supplies could be safely distributed to our islands, thus ensuring equal access for all priority groups.
“It’s therefore deeply disappointing to learn that some island communities may not now receive this vaccine after all.
“As well as seeking an update from the Interim Chief Executive of NHS Orkney, I also intend to raise this with the First Minister, who is due to make a statement to parliament later today (Tuesday). The Scottish Government needs to provide urgent clarity on the steps being taken to find a solution that will allow all those in the priority category, including people living in our smaller isles, to be vaccinated as previously promised.”
Mr McArthur has now received an assurance from the Health Secretary and the Interim Chief Executive of NHS Orkney that these transport issues have now been resolved. This information will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in an announcement tomorrow (Wednesday).