The vaccine roll-out appears to be little more than a trickle in West Lothian. Despite weeks of empty rhetoric and talk of targets being met, we are hearing daily of vulnerable people who have yet to be contacted about their first vaccination, let alone their second.
Why there are so few mass vaccinations centres in operation, especially when civic buildings such as the Burgh Halls in Linlithgow are standing empty and unused? So far, apart from a very few people who have been invited to visit to their local GP, most people are being directed to Ingliston, the EIC or Broxburn. This is fine for those that have private transport, but for those relying on public transport, the journey from Linlithgow to Broxburn - for example - is not easy.
In January, my husband and I tried to become volunteer vaccinators with the St John’s Ambulance as friends of ours have done in England, but we were told that no such scheme exists in Scotland. We are on a list to become helpers for the Bathgate centre, but that won’t be in operation until the end of February at the earliest. Last week it was announced that the army has stepped in and is now facilitating the process.
All this as National Clinical Director Jason Leitch has admitted that the whole process is likely to slow again as those who require their second dose of the vaccine return. This beggars belief as it suggests that the second dose wasn’t factored into the initial programme roll-out. In the latest figures available, Scotland still lags far behind the other home nations in terms of the number of people vaccinated and there is simply no excuse, nor rational explanation for it.
The SNP is currently being torn apart from the inside with the sacking of Joanna Cherry and Neale Hanvey (who had only been the Westminster Vaccine spokesperson for a matter of days), and the ongoing distraction of the Salmond Inquiry. Unbelievably however, they have still found the time to form an Independence Taskforce, so determined are they to hold another ruinous referendum as soon as possible. Because of their obsession with a referendum, and despite the fact that campaigning cannot happen in the traditional sense, they are pushing ahead with the Holyrood elections in May.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, we are stuck in a perpetual lockdown with absolutely no idea of when restrictions are going to be eased, or even any idea of the pathway we are to follow to get ourselves back to any semblance of normality.
The SNP are showing their true colours in their continued shambolic handling of the pandemic and their myopic focus on one issue. They are showing they’re out of touch with reality and far more importantly, with the needs and wants of the people they are supposed to serve.
As a society, we must Put Recovery First, and to do that we need to see change in the Scottish Government. This May, give your vote to a party that is prioritising recovery over everything else: the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
Sign our petition to Bin The Referendum
Sign up to our newsletter to find out about our local campaigns