Nicola Sturgeon has pledged that anyone needing a flu jab will receive one without delay, following reports of stock shortages.
The first minister insisted the vaccination programme was “going well” and blamed reports of patients being turned away on “localised supply issues”.
NHS Highland admitted this month that it was “experiencing delays” with supply of the vaccine, blaming a “national problem”.
NHS Grampian said the way it was supplied meant that GP practices had received 40% of their allocation in September, 20% in October and 40% in November, and that some pensioners had consequently been forced to wait until this month.
Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw raised the shortages at first minister’s questions in Holyrood yesterday.
Pressed to confirm that all over-75s who require it would be vaccinated by the end of the month, Ms Sturgeon said: “Yes, I will give that reassurance.”
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The first minister added: “The vaccination programme is well under way, the vaccination programme is going well, there are adequate supplies of vaccine in Scotland overall.
“It is not the case that there are large numbers of patients waiting for the vaccine.”
She appealed for any local supply problems to be brought to the attention of the government so they can be addressed.
And she said: “This is an effective and robust programme and I would appeal to every member of the chamber, including Jackson Carlaw, not to inadvertently undermine public confidence in the programme.
“That would be worst thing any of us could do.”
After the exchange, Mr Carlaw said 39% of over-65s had been immunised, compared to 45% at this point in 2017, and 51.7% in England.
He added: “The figures are clear that far fewer people in the at-risk groups are getting their flu jab than last year.
“We know anecdotally from all across Scotland that there have been supply issues, and clearly more needs to be done to ensure everyone who needs a vaccination gets one.
“We are now entering the closing phase of November, and people really need to get this before it’s too late.”
Last year, the cold weather contributed to almost 500 “additional” deaths in Grampian compared to the summer, autumn and spring.
It was the highest number of “extra” fatalities in the area since before the turn of the century, with the tragic picture described as “grim” by local politicians.