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Live Reporting

BBC Scotland News

All times stated are UK

  1. Covid in Scotland: The headlines

    • UK regulator, the MHRA, says the jab, which offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19 illness, is safe for roll-out next week
    • The FM says this is "without a shadow of a doubt the best news we have heard since the pandemic started"
    • However, she warns that "we are not at the end of this pandemic yet" and that the vaccination programme will be a massive logistical exercise
    View more on twitter
    • There have been 252 deaths linked to Covid in the week ending 29 November, according to the NRS
    • 38 more deaths have been registered in Scotland in the last 24 hours, according to the PHS figure
    • A new asymptomatic testing site has opened at Johnstone town hall in Renfrewshire - the first to use lateral flow testing in Scotland
    • In further asymptomatic testing, more than 4,000 people have been tested in Alloa, Stewarton, Girvan, Dalmarnock and Pollokshields
    • From next week, lateral flow testing will begin for designated visitors to care homes - with all homes getting a testing kit by 14 December

    That's all from us here on the live page today. Please take care and stay safe.

  2. 'It is all hands to the pump to make this work' - Labour's Iain Gray

    Iain Gray

    While acknowledging today is "the day we’ve all been waiting for", Labour MSP Iain Gray says the Scottish government's recent track record on logistics has "not been so good", citing problems with delivery of PPE and expanding the testing programme.

    "What we have to be assured of is the Scottish government and the bodies responsible for doing this have learnt the lessons from that," he tells BBC One Scotland.

    Mr Gray says the early signs are quite good, and he is pleased to hear that people are working full-time on plans for the roll-out, and that the army will be involved.

    "It is all hands to the pump to make this work," he adds.

    Gray stresses that even if vaccinations start next Tuesday, the operation "is going to take some time" and it is "critical that people stick to the rules in the meantime”.

    He also says we shouldn’t forget about individuals and businesses that still need support after the “terrible news” yesterday on jobs and the retail sector.

  3. 'First people in the world to be vaccinated could be in UK'

    Prof Linda Bauld

    Linda Bauld, Professor of Public Health at Edinburgh University, says today is a day "to be delighted", not only because a vaccine has been approved but also because the UK was the first country to do so.

    "It means the first people in the world potentially to be vaccinated against Covid-19 could be in the UK," she tells BBC One Scotland.

    Prof Bauld says the logistics of delivering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine - which needs to transported and stored at minus 70C - will be challenging.


    However, she highlights that the vaccine is stable at between 2C and 8C for a short period of time, which means, in theory, it could be delivered to a hospital hub and then transported short distances to care homes and other settings.

    It will be rolled out "in a modest way" in Scotland, she believes. But when other vaccines such as AstraZeneca are approved, it will be better for GP practices as that vaccine can be stored at normal refrigerated temperatures.

  4. At PMQs...SNP's Blackford says millions have been 'abandoned'

    House of Commons


    View more on twitter

    Now it's the turn of SNP Westminster leader Iain Blackford.

    He also welcomes the vaccine approval which he says is "the news we have all been waiting for".

    But he says it has come too late for what he says are the three million people who have "not had a penny of support" during the pandemic from the UK government.

    He says following a recent meeting with campaign group Excluded UK he learnt the "shocking" news that eight people had taken their own lives in the past 10 days.

    In response, the PM says he is sorry to hear this and goes on to talk about the extra funding on offer for mental health support and the increase in Universal Credit.

    Mr Blackford says this is not good enough and the lack of support for self-employed people in the arts and construction has been an "abject failure" and people have been "abandoned".

    The PM rejects this, saying "no-one has been abandoned" and the tiered restrictions approved yesterday would pave the way for the economy to re-open, particularly the retail sector.

  5. How will logistical issues around Pfizer vaccine be tackled?

    Image caption: Ultra-low temperature freezers have been designed to transport and store the vaccine

    BBC Scotland's health correspondent Lisa Summers asks the first minister to outline the detail for the first phase of the vaccination programme.

    This includes logistical challenges such as transportation and storage of the Pfizer vaccine.

    She asks if NHS health workers will be given the vaccine first because of the difficulties involved in getting it to residents of care homes, including maintaining the low temperature.

    Ms Sturgeon explains the very first people to be vaccinated will be those carrying out the vaccinations.

    The first minister says there are discussions with the MHRA about what is possible about the transportation of this vaccine.

    There are now 23 ultra-low temperature freezers which will be distributed across the country, she says.

    Ms Sturgeon pledges to set out the logistical details in the coming days and stresses the health and care workers will be prioritised early.

  6. Delivering vaccine is a 'massive operation', says FM


    It is put to Ms Ms Sturgeon that the main question people will have is "How soon until I can get the vaccine?" and whether the government will need external help in planning the delivery of the whole operation.

    Nicola Sturgeon says plans are already "well on the way to implementation" in terms of identifying vaccine centres and how, for example, to get them to people in care homes.

    Local NHS boards, local authorities and the military have all been involved, she says.

    "This is a massive, massive operation - the biggest logistical peacetime challenge the country will have ever undertaken," Ms Sturgeon says.

    "I'm sure there might be days where we’re tearing our hair out but the planning is well under way."

    The first minister points out the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is only one vaccine, and that others may soon be approved which will improve supply.

    "Let’s hope we’re on a roll with this," she adds. "I'm sure there will be ups and downs and blips, but we should take a moment today to feel good about this."

  7. Vaccine 'will be deployed across Scotland at same time'

    Dr Gregor Smith

    Interim Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith is asked how the vaccine will be distributed fairly across the whole of Scotland, particularly rural Scotland and the south of Scotland.

    Dr Smith says as soon as the first supplies are received received, they will be able to begin deploying it right across the country.

    The government has invested in the infrastructure necessary and trained teams in preparation, he says.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re in a rural area or an urban area, says Dr Smith. The hospital sites across every area have been supplied with the ultra-low temperature storage facilities required to store the vaccine.

    Barring any last-minute logistical hitches, he expects the vaccine to be deployed across Scotland at the same time.

  8. FM calls on everyone to follow guidelines and FACTS

    The first minister says the light at the end of the tunnel seems a lot brighter today.

    However, she calls on the public to continue to follow all the rules, regulations and advice to protect ourselves and each other.

    Here it is:

    1. Scottish government: Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you can and cannot do.

    Read guidance for the festive period

    2. Postcode checker for COVID restrictions by protection level in areas of Scotland

    3. NHS Inform

    The latest from NHS Scotland and the Scottish government, including social distancing, face covering and stay at home advice.

  9. BreakingLateral flow tests to be delivered to all care homes by 14 December

    care home resident

    Ms Sturgeon tells the briefing that from next week, lateral flow testing will begin for designated visitors to care homes.

    The first minister says it will start in 15 care homes in five local authority areas.

    Testing kits will then be delivered to all care homes from 14 December, a month earlier than anticipated, she says.

  10. FM turns to asymptomatic testing sites

    test centre

    The first minister confirms a new testing site has opened at Johnstone town hall in Renfrewshire and she explains you don't have to have symptoms or book in advance to get a test.

    This site is the first to use lateral flow tests allowing the result to be given within 45 minutes.

    Ms Sturgeon says five other sites have been established in communities with relatively high rates of Covid to let asymptomatic testing begin.

    Already more than 4,000 people have been tested in Alloa, Stewarton, Girvan, Dalmarnock and Pollokshields.

    She expresses gratitude to all those people who have responded so well to this opportunity to get tested.

  11. 'Today's news should give all of us real hope'


    Ms Sturgeon says the Pfizer vaccine will be quite difficult to transport to some locations, especially individual homes.

    Planning is under way to ensure everyone in priority groups can be vaccinated, she elucidates.

    The first minister says: "Today's news should give all of us real hope that the end of this pandemic for Scotland is now in sight."

    It should also motivate us to do everything we can to keep ourselves and others safe from now until everyone is vaccinated, including over Christmas.

  12. Starting vaccination programme next week is 'fantastic news'


    Ms Sturgeon jokes she has probably smiled more in the last few minutes than in several months.

    The first minister points out everyone will require two doses of the vaccine 21 to 28 days apart, so it will take until very early in the New Year to complete the first vaccine courses.

    She adds that starting the vaccination programme next week is "fantastic news".

    The people who will be vaccinating everyone will get the vaccine first, she explains.

    The Scottish government will then follow the independent advice received from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

    The priority for the vaccine will then be dictated by clinical need, as the tweet below shows:

    View more on twitter
  13. BreakingFirst Scottish vaccinations on Tuesday 8 December

    The first minister expects vaccines to be delivered over the course of December and this will start to happen within the next few days.

    If the vaccines arrive as expected, Ms Sturgeon says: "I can confirm to you the first vaccines against Covid will be administered in Scotland on Tuesday the 8th of December.

    "That is just six days from now."

  14. 'Today is genuinely a good day.'

    Ms Sturgeon says: "Today is genuinely a good day."

    The first minister cautions that we're not at the end of this pandemic yet and "we cannot and we must not ease up in our efforts to control it".

    "But today does feel like it may well be the beginning of the end of this horrible experience."

    Ms Sturgeon explains she feels a "lightness of heart that I haven't felt in quite some time".

  15. 'The best news we have heard since this pandemic started'

    nicola sturgeon

    The first minister "very warmly and very enthusiastically welcomes this morning's news that the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has been authorised for supply in the UK".

    Ms Sturgeon adds: "It is without a shadow of a doubt the best news we have heard since this pandemic started all these months ago."

    The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for widespread use.

    UK regulator, the MHRA, says the jab - which offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19 illness - is safe for roll-out next week.

  16. Breaking38 more deaths registered in Scotland in last 24 hours

    Nicola Sturgeon confirms a further 951 people have tested positive for Covid-19. That is 4.5 % of the total number of tests carried out.

    This takes the total number of positive cases in Scotland to 96,762.

    991 patients are in hospital with a confirmed case (down 30), with 68 being treated in intensive care (down two).

    A further 38 people who tested positive have had their deaths registered, taking the total by that measure to 3,797.

    The weekly NRS figures earlier showed a further 252 deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate were registered in the week up to 29 November, taking that total to 5,634.

  17. The Covid-19 daily briefing is next...

    Ms Sturgeon will set out plans for the new system at her daily coronavirus briefing
    Image caption: Ms Sturgeon will set out plans for the new system at her daily coronavirus briefing

    Nicola Sturgeon will now lead the Scottish government's daily coronavirus briefing, today joined by interim Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith.

    Remember if you want to watch the full briefing with all the questions you can watch it on the BBC Scotland channel.

    You can also watch the briefing and get reaction to it on BBC One Scotland and listen on Radio Scotland, all here on this live page.

  18. Covid in Scotland: The headlines

    • The vaccine offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19 illness
    • There have been 252 deaths linked to Covid in the week ending 29 November