Murdo Fraser calls for a policy review to allow Black Watch to get Covid jag before serving abroad
Murdo Fraser MSP has called on the Scottish Government to ensure troops in The Black Watch get the Covid vaccine before they serve abroad.
The Scottish Conservative politician was reacting to current Scottish Government guidance on the matter, following a query from a concerned constituent, who has a relative in The Black Watch about to serve a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The Scottish Government says that service personnel ‘do not have any priority’ for the vaccine, and state: ‘It is for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) working with the NHS as required to plan and deliver Covid vaccination to service personnel deployed abroad.’
Commenting, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “Whilst I understand the Scottish Government’s position if service personnel are staying within the UK, I believe Afghanistan has a much higher infection level and we are asking these troops to expose themselves to a much higher risk. So, I would suggest the Scottish Government should revise their policy in light of this.
“The Scottish Government have tried to bat this issue away by suggesting it is up to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to deliver Covid vaccines to service personnel deployed abroad. However, they need to realise that our Armed Forces protect the whole of the UK and also play a vital role in helping to deal with events in countries like Afghanistan.
“Soldiers in The Black Watch are often in the front line when carrying out tours abroad – surely they should be getting the Covid vaccine prior to serving abroad.”