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Michael Gove: ‘It’s important we all work together’ on vaccine rollout

Gove vaccine rollout
Michael Gove.

Michael Gove says the devolved governments are “working as one United Kingdom” on the vaccine rollout programme.

The assertion comes after Alister Jack, the Secretary of State for Scotland, offered to help the Scottish Government with vaccinations.

The Scottish Government has come under pressure from Westminster in recent days due to their slow rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination.

Gove vaccine rollout
Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack.

Mr Gove said: “We are working as one United Kingdom in order to make sure that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is available to citizens across the UK.

“Jason Leitch was saying yesterday that the vaccine rollout in Scotland had been not as quick as it might have been, so we’re doing everything we can to help.”

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman and national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch both conceded on Tuesday that Scotland’s vaccine rollout needs to be quicker.

Despite slower rates of vaccinations than the rest of the UK in the over 80 age group, 98% of care home residents have been vaccinated in Scotland.

Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman.

Vaccinations in England

Questioned about this on Wednesday morning Mr Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, wouldn’t say how many care home residents in England have been vaccinated.

In response to being asked how many English care home residents have been vaccinated, Mr Gove said: “We’ve seen a significantly higher number of people across England and in other parts of the United Kingdom vaccinated than in Scotland.

“The overall number of vaccinations has been lower as a percentage in Scotland.”

The MP for Surrey Heath later claimed that every care home resident in England has been offered the vaccine

“It is the case that every care home resident in England has been offered the vaccine,” he said.

“It is also the case that in Scotland fewer people have been vaccinated than in the rest of the UK”.

‘I’m not critical of anyone’

Despite comparing Scotland’s vaccine statistics to the UK’s, Mr Gove claims he wasn’t being critical of the Scottish Government’s vaccine rollout.

Covid vaccine in Scotland: Track the rollout progress with these charts

The 53-year-old said he was encouraging everyone to work together, rather than being critical.

He said: “I’m not critical of anyone, I’m just stressing that it’s important we all work together.”

Mr Gove was pressed four times on the issue of care home vaccinations in England, although he was not able to give a figure as to how many residents have been vaccinated.

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