Reduced supplies of the Pfizer vaccine will restrict the vaccination rollout in Scotland, the Health Secretary has warned.

Humza Yousaf has written to his UK counterpart Matt Hancock to ask what action can be taken to increase the supply of vaccine with Pfizer doses expected to be "tight" over the next few weeks. 

Ahead of a four-nation call on Thursday, Mr Yousaf stressed the need to bring forward the supply of Pfizer so that the vaccination programme in Scotland could maintain or increase its pace. 

There has been pressure on Pfizer supplies since the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advised that the AstraZeneca vaccine should not be used for those under 40.

In his letter, Mr Yousaf highlighted  the milestone of vaccinating over 75 per cent of those aged 18 and older with first doses and praised the "outstanding progress" of all nations and "tireless work" of all those involved. 

He also commended the work of the UK Vaccines Taskforce in securing vaccine supply. 

But stressed that those responsible must fo everything they can to accelerate the rollout.

He said: "In Scotland, similar to our 4 nations counterparts, we are working hard towards the end of July target for offering first does to all those aged 18 and over.

"This has become even more important as we implement the adjustments to dose schedule set out by JCVI and deploying additional accessible routes to reach communities given the increase in prevalence of the Delta variant.

"I am very clear that this is a race and we must therefore do absolutely everything in our power to accelerate our efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible.

"I appreciate we are all doing what we can in this regard, but I am conscious that the recent changes by JCVI on the role of AstraZeneca, have placed increased pressure on our supply of Pfizer in particular.

"The latest forecast on supply would indicate that Pfizer will be particularly tight over the next few weeks and as a consequence the programme won’t be able to accelerate as much as I would wish.

"I know that the Vaccines Taskforce and colleagues in BEIS are working incredibly hard to maximise volumes of all supply including Pfizer. Notwithstanding this, I would be grateful to discuss what more could be done to further increase the available supply in the coming weeks to support efforts to deliver the programme at pace."