Not enough Scots have taken the covid booster jab to fight off the new Omicron variant of the virus, the country’s chief medical adviser has warned.
He said: “I’m afraid that population is not vaccinated enough is the headline. If you go from, first, second to booster does (in the population) it us 93 per cent, 88 per cent and 53 per cent.”
He told BBC Scotland: “We know from that real world data that the booster dose is essential.
“The first two doses do not protect you enough against Omicron because vaccination has waned over time and this one has found a way through the barriers. So we need to get that 53 per cent up.”
Leitch added: “The over 80s are very vaccinated going down through the ages exactly as you would expect. Most of the Omicron cases are under 50.
“But those under-50 year-olds meet over-70 year olds and they mix with families and they go to care homes and they go to hospitals. So that’s why we need all of them vaccinated as well.”
“There are still people dying of this Coronavirus around the world and there are people in hospital all over the world with the Omicron variant so the fundamentals are the same.”
Leitch was left batting for the government on Sunday after SNP Ministers made themselves unavailable for the usual round of Sunday morning interviews to defend restrictions amid growing speculation that there will be a UK-wide circuit breaker lockdown after Christmas.
Leitch hint at his own thinking and said: “When you first get a new variant act hard, act quickly, there is no other option. That is always rewarded and you can see other countries doing that the Netherlands is locked down in 24 hours, France and Germany, Ireland making big steps to close down parts of their business sector their society in order to deal with this.”
The senior civil servant revealed he had tickets for the cancelled Deacon Blue concert in Glasgow’s Hydro arena on Sunday night and defended himself against questioning that the government, not the band, should have called off the 14,000 capacity gig.
He said: “The public health advice is if you’re going to go vaccinate, test and follow the rules. Getting to and from the Hydro that doesn’t bother me but getting to and from it do.
“None of these events are safe but nor is my house. What we are trying to do is create a safe environment for people as best we can.”
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