A possible dip in coronavirus vaccine supplies next week will not affect the government’s targets for the programme, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The First Minister said the government still hoped to offer a first dose to all people over 50, all unpaid carers, and all adults with an underlying health condition by mid-April.
Supply of the vaccines is the constraining factor in the rollout, she said.
The daily rate of vaccinations was scaled back in February as suppliers Pfizer scaled up their manufacturing capacity.
Anas Sarwar, the newly-elected leader of Scottish Labour, asked Ms Sturgeon about the dip as she updated MSPs on Tuesday.
He said: “The Scottish Government has a target of 400,000 vaccinations a week, a target I have welcomed and support.
“But the numbers for the last week in February show an average of around 29,000 vaccinations per day and yesterday fewer than 23,000 people were vaccinated.
“Today, the First Minister has suggested already there is the potential of slowing vaccination rates going forward even further.
“When will we have that target met of 400,000 vaccinations a week so we can collectively get out of this crisis.”
The First Minister said the government had exceeded this target earlier in the year.
She said: “The dip in daily vaccination rates, which we flagged in advance, was entirely down to supply.
“If you look at numbers across the four nations you will see that same dip.
“We expect there might be another dip in supply next week, we don’t expect that to affect the mid-April targets.”
Discussions with the pharmaceutical companies on the long-term supply prospects were ongoing, she said.