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‘Light at the end of the tunnel just got a lot brighter’ – Scotland reacts to approval of Oxford vaccine

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has described the vaccine's approval as "very good news"
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has described the vaccine's approval as "very good news"

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed news that the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has been approved by UK regulators.

The authorisation was announced by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) this morning.

As the vaccine is easier to produce and store than others, such as those produced by Pfizer and Moderna, the roll-out is expected to be quick and large in scale.

The UK has ordered 100 million doses, enough for 50 million people, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed the first vaccinations will take place on January 4.

Reacting to the news, Ms Sturgeon wrote on Twitter: “Much needed good news on the Covid front – and it is very good news.

“We’ve still got some difficult winter weeks ahead – but the light at the end of the tunnel just got a lot brighter.

“Let’s stick with it now – spring will bring better times.”

Retweeting Mr Hancock, Scottish Conservatives leader and Moray MP Douglas Ross wrote: “Great news today that the Oxford/AstraZeneca has been approved for use”.

In a statement, he added: “Ensuring everyone is covered will require a huge logistical effort from our NHS and both our governments.

“But ultimately, along with mass testing, this is the only way we can get back to normality and see an end to the restrictions on our day-to-day lives here in Moray and across the country.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, meanwhile, described the news as “a real milestone in the fight against Covid”.

He added: “We now need a swift rollout of this vaccine for NHS and care workers, as well as the most vulnerable.”

In a two-part tweet, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman thanked the people who were involved in the vaccine’s development and those who will be involved in distributing it.

She added: “As we vaccinate it’s all the more important we all stick to the rules, protect ourselves, each other and the NHS knowing a brighter spring is coming.”

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