NOTWITHSTANDING the debate over vaccination, the logic of which has escaped some readers (Letters, January 6, 7 & 8), we now learn that England, Germany and other states are prioritising teachers to ease their fears of contagion, enable schools to return, parents to work and their mental health to be preserved. One can only sympathise with parents with school-age children trapped in limited accommodation, or others prevented from working because schools are closed. The mental and physical health effects of this will last years. Vaccinating teachers is a means to an end to benefit many more than them alone. The elderly and retired are safe in lockdown, albeit frustrated and bored.

On that principle Indonesia has inverted the age priorities to protect the economically active while the elderly are protected by lockdown.

The Scottish debate is now that of the implementation of plans which are clearly not working. Professor Jason Leitch’s statement that oversight will be a central Government activity, delegating the implementation to health boards, is typical of the longstanding bureaucratic nature of Scottish healthcare. It is no surprise it is not working, as illustrated by the queues for non-existent jags at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Having 20 years' experience of the workings of boards and St Andrew’s House this comes as no surprise. Imagination is lacking and nothing happens quickly without meetings about meetings, and control. Has Jeane Freeman been asleep at her desk anticipating her coming retirement, with her only action being plans about plans to be announced anon and anon?

Surely the immediate solution is to use the thousands of local pharmacies, long experienced in flu inoculation, and with a robust drug management and delivery service, which are easily accessible to all ages, and know their clients well. The benign storage needs of the Oxford vaccine allows delivery by any competent provider. Which of us have not had rapid daily deliveries from supermarkets, DPD, FedEx and others?

Anyone attending a pharmacy with identification, bus pass, passport and the like during working hours can be vaccinated and their identity recorded. Volunteer retired medics and nurses can help at those sites. Distant vaccination hubs are a bureaucratic solution to suit management, not patients.

Gavin R Tait FRCSEd, East Kilbride.


I HAVE just received a letter and pamphlet from the Scottish Government regarding the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The information is clear, concise and easy to read. However, it does not include any reference to how disabled and housebound people are to receive their inoculation.

Will they be able to receive their vaccine at home or will they be required to attend one of the vaccine centres?

It is vital that disabled and housebound people are given reassurance as to how the vaccine will be administered.

Tom Lucas, Glasgow G69.


I UNDERSTAND that the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow has a record number of Covid-19 cases acquired during the New Year holiday weekend.

This has little to do with illegal Hogmanay parties. It is due to the Rangers v Celtic match on Saturday, January 2.

The match was shown on a TV channel that requires a long-term subscription and many Glaswegians cannot afford such luxuries, but they were so desperate to watch the match they they crowded into small flats of the few who did have subscriptions and ignored social distancing laws. By keeping the volume of TV commentary low the police would not be able to catch the culprits, especially since this happened at many locations all at once.

I note that Celtic have been in the United Arab Emirates this past week. It is a place that has strict censorship and refuses to admit that it has many Covid-19 cases.

What a dreadful example they are setting. There are more Scottish Premiership matches this weekend which will be shown only on subscription channels, so the same thing will happen again. The only solution is to ban all professional football in Scotland

for the next three months. Footballers must not be treated as if they were essential workers.

They are not. They should be furloughed.

David Gallant, Oban.

*WITH £700m sitting in its coffers surely the Scottish Government should honour its promise to assist football clubs in terminal decline by delivering grants to the most needy who are now on their last legs. If it doesn't all football fans should remember how they were dealt with when they vote in the Scottish election later this year.

Sir Brian H Donohoe, former Labour MP, Irvine.


DR John Cameron (Letters, January 8), and some others it appears, seem to think that the military is some kind of magic bullet when it comes to the logistics of delivering vaccinations. The NHS employs around 1.2 million people across the UK, the Defence Medical Services (DMS) have around 8,000 regular staff. DMS would hardly scratch the surface, if you'll pardon the pun.

John Jamieson, Ayr.


I "CLAPPED for Heroes" tonight (January 7) but was alone in doing so. I stood in the freezing cold night and made as much noise as I could; but sound of clapping came there none. I looked at the stars as they twinkled and the ground which was covered in thick frost and hoped that others would join me. Nobody. Nothing. Perhaps they stayed indoors to clap as it was so cold?

Thankyou to all the "heroes", including my two nieces, who are much pressed by what is happening now. They are brave spirits indeed. At 8pm each Thursday night I will clap, loudly, and hope others, everywhere, will perhaps be clapping too.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.


I DISAGREE with Doug Maughan’s letter (January 6) denigrating President Trump. It was little more than a regurgitation of misinformation which has been pedalled in much of our media over the last four years.

I also heard the selected highlights of Donald Trump’s leaked phone-call with Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, which provided Mr Maughan’s inspiration. It comprised little more than the President urging him to do his job properly by reacting to evidence of election fraud in his state. Inaction in the face of wrongdoing facilitates the injustice. But Mr Raffensperger is compromised, as witnessed by his willingness to attempt to damage Mr Trump.

In spite of four years of ceaseless attacks from the media, a phoney impeachment and treacherous officialdom, Mr Trump’s record of achievement is impressive: in international affairs he started no new wars, defeated Islamic State, revamped the military, signed not one but four Middle East peace deals, defused a tense stand-off with North Korea, exposed Iranian ill-will on the nuclear deal and, most importantly, confronted the Chinese Communist Party’s hegemony and litany of abuses; at home he produced a booming economy and record stock markets, achieved record high black and Latino employment rates, punctured the absurdly expensive green deal balloon, managed 85 per cent reduction in illegal immigration by 2019, effected Obamacare reform and extracted warp-speed vaccine development.

He achieved more in 48 months than Joe Biden achieved in 48 years in political life. Mr Biden’s only achievement is personal enrichment.

The wellbeing of honest people throughout the world is contingent on a strong USA led by a capable Commander in Chief.

So if Mr Maughan meets President Trump one day on a golf course, I suggest he should treat him with respectful gratitude.

John McArthur, Glasgow G73.


NOT all the blame for the events in Washington lies with Donald Trump and his leading supporters. Had the mainstream media properly reported and discussed the various allegations of material electoral fraud the issue might well have been defused. Also, if the Supreme Court had heard the challenge brought by Texas and endorsed by Mr Trump that would have helped to close divisions.

While claims of interference by a rogues gallery of foreign states are entirely implausible, many of the other allegations are not.

Suggestions that vote-counting machines were linked to the internet and could be remotely hacked could best be described as “I want to know more”.

Some evidence produced definitely warranted detailed investigation – notably the glitches in certain vote counts where blocks of votes suddenly switched from Mr Trump to Joe Biden.

Statistical evidence goes further and at least raises doubts as to the overall result. The simplest is that Mr Biden got by far the largest-ever presidential vote off a record low for a winning candidate of 509 counties to more than 2,500 won by Mr Trump. (Barack Obama won in 2008 with 875 counties and four years later with 689 counties.)

However, as both the mainstream media and the Supreme Court chose not to canvas and thereby defuse these matters, the distrust and division will fester, to the severe weakening of America, a result which will undermine our security here in Britain.

Otto Inglis, Crossgates, Fife.


FIFTY years ago, a hospital was run very efficiently by a superintendent, a matron and a secretary. They knew their job and ran a team who also knew the job and had freedom to do it. If needed, they collaborated with colleagues in nearby hospitals. Fifty years ago the councillor in charge of education had a business background and would make a decision in a lunch break, setting out clear criteria for judging outcomes.

Now our hospitals are over-run with a plague of administrators (so important they must be put at the head of the vaccine queue), who need to take over ward space to accommodate growing numbers and who are unavailable after 5pm, leaving nursing staff to take urgent decisions. Now in local government we have a six-week committee cycle so administrators, often with no business acumen, can shuffle mounds of paper and decide what to tell elected members. (Fifty years ago the task would probably have been completed within the six weeks.)

Fifty years ago, administrators were a support resource for frontline staff who delivered the goods. Now they are the frontline staff who suck resources out of the system and in some cases are paid more than the Prime Minister.

James Watson, Dunbar.

Read more: We must not let the old wither away for the sake of the young