From Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP…

Update includes: Vaccine priority list revealed; no change to School Christmas holiday dates; Exams still to go ahead for now; I call for frontline key-workers to be given flexibility if they have to work over Christmas.

As ever I’m keen to help, but cannot effectively deal with queries over social media. Please email


More detail has been issued in terms of the order in which people will be offered the vaccine. Vaccinators will work through each group in turn.

This priority list is as follows:

  1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. all those 75 years of age and over
  4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (including those on the shielding list)
  5. all those 65 years of age and over
  6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
  7. all those 60 years of age and over
  8. all those 55 years of age and over
  9. all those 50 years of age and over

It is estimated that taken together, these groups represent around 99% of preventable mortality from COVID-19. Vaccination of those not in any of these priority groups will take place on the conclusion of administration to these groups. With all vaccines administered by late spring.

The Pfizer vaccine will be administered from Tuesday 8 December along with our counterparts across the 4 nations of the UK. Each person will require 2 doses 21 days apart with immunity achieved a week after the second dose.

In a change to previous plans the vaccine will now also be offered to 16 and 17 year olds who have underlying health conditions.

IMPORTANT: the Pfizer vaccine is not advised for women who are pregnant or who plan to become pregnant in the next 3 months.

From next Tuesday, the 8th, the vaccinators themselves will be the first to receive the first injection.

The priority list will commence with care home residents beginning to receive the vaccine on 14th December.

Details will soon be released as to the location of vaccination hubs in your area.


Despite speculation there will be no change to the winter term dates and the Christmas holidays will start and finish as expected.

There is significant pressure on the Government to cancel the Higher and advanced Higher 2021 exams diet (as has happened in Wales) but the Government has signalled they intend to proceed for now but will reassess and take a final decision in early February.

I have had several emails from those who will be working on the front line of the pandemic over Christmas, they point out that they will be unable to take advantage of the relaxed travel rules to visit loved ones in the 5 days of lockdown relaxation. I asked the First Minister if she would allow them to take their 5 days in the week after Christmas.