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READERS’ LETTERS: Covid-19 vaccination plans need a global approach

People wearing masks on the streets of Perth during the coronavirus pandemic.
People wearing masks on the streets of Perth during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sir, – I first heard Bill Gates predicting a serious pandemic around five years ago.

Through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, billions of dollars have been spent on research.

Among the lessons is the need for a global approach including a Global Response System.

History tells us that pandemics will strike from time to time. Mr Gates warns the next one could be worse and sooner than expected.

We have been hit hard this time but are already becoming complacent with many only seeing it as a nuisance because they can’t get their hair cut or go on holiday.

A major problem has already arisen with rich countries playing the “we’re all right Jack” card.

The only way to defeat a pandemic is to attack it on an organised global level.

There’s no point believing that as long as all of our population has been vaccinated, then we are safe.

Harry Key.

20 Mid Street,



‘Insult’ to memory of Donald Dewar

Sir, – When I did my Higher History at Dundee’s Morgan Academy back in the late 1960s, one thing my teachers stressed was paying attention to detail.

Reading the article in The Courier (February 2) about the latest materials now being used at a primary school in Forfar, my home town, on famous Scots, it would appear the old saying about history being written by the winners now applies not just to those who win wars but also those who win political office.

The deification of Nicola Sturgeon is something sadly we’ve come to expect in today’s politics where personality now trumps policy.

However, the description of Donald Dewar is nothing short of an insult to his memory.

I admit I’m biased as it was my privilege to work with him for over two years until his death in 2000.

To say, as this material does, that he “worked for the government in London” is taking brevity of description to ludicrous levels.

There’s no mention that he was an MP for over 20 years, that he was a government minister or that he was Secretary of State for Scotland.

Then to compound their mistake the authors of this nonsense, online publishers Twinkl, go on with another speech bubble stating Mr Dewar “campaigned for Scotland to have the power to make their own rules”.

He did more than campaign – he led the fight, led the referendum to secure the vote leading to the Scotland Act, took that Act through the UK Parliament, led Labour to victory in the first elections to the Scottish Parliament and was elected the first ever First Minister of Scotland.

At least they got that bit right.

David Whitton.

Former Special Adviser to Donald Dewar,



‘Politicking’ on vaccines must stop

Sir, – Openness is the sign of honesty, confidence and self-belief, so when someone says ‘I am sorry, that’s private or commercially sensitive information’, or when restricted data is reported, people become more interested and suspect something ‘fishy’ may be going on.

A lot of politicking is being made over vaccination rates across the UK.

When comparing the constituent parts of the UK, Scotland is seemingly at the back, trailing by 2.7% from the leader, when measuring vaccination delivery to the whole population.

The JCVI (the team that advises the UK vaccine strategy) gave clear priorities to the UK Government.

First, residents in care homes, older people and their carers.

These are the citizens most at risk of severe reactions to Covid-19.

Scotland has completed better than 95% of these. While the UK Government states 100% have been ‘offered’ a vaccine, no actual confirmed vaccinated percentage has been reported. Rumour has it, it is as low as 40%, a significant lag.

So why hasn’t the UK been keeping up with Scotland on this critical group?

Why don’t they report this? Something to hide?

Alistair Ballantyne.



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