Vaccine production hubs should be set up across Scotland, with spare doses sent to developing countries, the SNP has said.
The party’s conference passed a resolution calling for regional vaccine manufacturing hubs to “provide a safeguard to Scotland’s own population” during both the coronavirus pandemic and any future pandemics.
A scientific panel should also be set up to advise the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament about the threats of existing and emerging microbiological threats.
The motion stated that it was “crucial that a resilient Scotland has the ability to produce the vaccines” and added: “It would allow Scotland to provide assistance to other nations that may lack this capacity.”
Proposing the resolution, delegate Lynne Copland said: “The establishment of a scientific panel proposed in this resolution is not intended to replicate or to replace the work already being done by existing agencies, but to ensure vigilance across a wider range of potential biological threats, and suggest measures to be put in place to deal with these should the need arise.
“The traditional route for the manufacturers of vaccines has involved the production of millions of doses and one primary location. But more recently these companies are now using new technologies to produce vaccines at multiple sites.
“The geographical concentration of research and development in manufacturing has been a key factor and leaving many countries vulnerable and experiencing difficulties accessing vaccine supplies.”
She added: “It is vital that Scotland can take its experience of this Covid crisis and seize the opportunity to create a positive legacy by establishing vaccine manufacturing hubs and a panel of experts whose function is to surveil and assess future threats and safeguard Scotland’s population.”