Nicola Sturgeon exposed: SNP spinmeister sparks outrage over dodgy claims

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The First Minister said it was “a fact” every Scottish person over 40 years old has been vaccinated. However, Public Health Scotland (PHS) data shows only 76.6 percent of people in the age group were fully vaccinated.

Ms Sturgeon accused political opponents of engaging in “childish politics” by suggesting over 40s were not fully vaccinated.

The First Minister also insisted the vaccine target for unlocking Scotland’s Covid restrictions “has not been missed”.

Speaking at the Police Scotland training college in Tulliallan, she said: “I think it’s important we deal in facts and not in childish politics, which at this time is not what we should be doing.

“No vaccination target has been missed and that’s not an opinion, that’s a fact.

“What we set ourselves the target of was offering, by now, the first dose of the vaccine to every adult, everybody over the age of 18, and two doses to the over 40 age group.”

She had previously said: “We expect to have given second doses to all 40 to 49-year-olds” by July 26, and has insisted plans for easing coronavirus restrictions would be tied to hitting vaccination milestones.

However, PHS figures showed that on Monday, around 158,000 people in their 40s, just under a quarter of the total, had not yet received both doses.

More than nine in 10 have however taken a first dose of vaccine.

In addition, only 71.6 percent of those aged 18-29 have had a first dose of the vaccine.

One in five people in the 30-39 age group have also not received a jab.

In response to the false figures, opposition MSPs have accused the First Minister of “spin”.

Rachael Hamilton, Conservative MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, said on Twitter: “SNP Spinmeister Sturgeon has not met her govt targets despite her dodgy claims.

“Public Health Scotland data shows just 76.6 percent of 40-49yr olds in Scotland were fully protected by the vaccine by 26th July.

“If only the public could see through this spin.”

Annie Wells, health spokeswoman for the Scottish Tories, added Ms Sturgeon and Health Secretary Humza Yousaf were “in denial”.

She said: “They are desperately trying to claim key vaccine targets have been met rather than face reality.

“They should be upfront about their failings instead of furiously spinning false figures.”

Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour’s deputy leader, also accused Ms Sturgeon of being “economical with the truth”.

She said: “The First Minister can shamelessly try and spin this all she likes, but the facts speak for themselves.

“Of course the vaccine isn’t mandatory and no-one expected 100 percent coverage by this point – but we have fallen spectacularly short.

“Over 90 percent of people in this group have had their first dose, but almost a quarter are still waiting for their second – so it cannot be written off as a reluctance to be vaccinated.

“The SNP’s attempts to downplay these figures is a reminder that they are more concerned with optics than outcomes.”

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