Scotland Papers: Booster ‘Scramble’ and Spring Inderef campaign

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Several front pages focus on expanding the COVID booster program in response to the Omicron edition, with all over 18 now eligible for a third dose three months after their second. Metro says the hit to the NHS vaccine website increased on Monday night as thousands of people joined a virtual queue to book their boosters.

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I says Scotland’s vaccination program will be “dramatically expanded and accelerated” to slow the spread of the Omicron variant. After it was confirmed that cases of the variant had been identified in Scotland on Monday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said people should not cancel Christmas plans, the paper reports.

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The Herald says that when people are eligible for their booster vaccine, the time since their second dose has been reduced to six to three months — meaning that many people under 40 are eligible for the jab before Christmas. There will be reasons.

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The Scottish Daily Mail calls the move “a big boost for Christmas”, as more than two million people in Scotland will now be eligible for a third dose.

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The Times says the NHS is “scrambling” to promote the booster programme, which has made more than 13 million people eligible in the UK. The newspaper says that with a handful of cases confirmed in the UK, health chiefs fear the variant is spreading.

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Similarly, The Scotsman reported how not all cases in the new edition in the UK were linked to international travel, “suggesting that community transmission has begun”. While Ms Sturgeon urged Scots not to panic, she said she could not rule out further restrictions, the paper reports.

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The Press and Journal quoted the first minister’s scathing comments during a media briefing on Monday, when he called Omicron’s emergence “the most challenging development during the pandemic for quite some time.”

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According to the Scottish Daily Express, “the pressure is on” to reopen mass vaccination centers such as the NHS Louisa Jordan in Glasgow. It quotes Scotland’s chief medical officer who confirmed talks are underway with health boards to speed up the booster programme.

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The Daily Telegraph focuses the US response on Omicron, with President Biden saying there is “no cause for panic” and that there is no need for further lockdowns if people are vaccinated and wearing masks. The newspaper says his remarks contrast with the approach taken by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who says it has been accused of imposing tighter restrictions over the weekend despite a lack of clarity on the power of the new edition.

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“Ommy God” is the depressing headline of the Daily Record, when the prime minister declined calls for a Four Nations Cobra meeting to discuss Nicola Sturgeon and her counterpart Mark Drakeford’s version in Wales. In a letter to Boris Johnson, the two leaders also said they wanted stricter travel restrictions for people coming to the UK.

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Ms Sturgeon’s keynote speech at the SNP convention is the focus for The National, which highlights her plans to launch a campaign for another independence referendum in the spring of next year.

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After people in Perthshire were left without power for four days, the courier turns to the courier with concern over a possible fallout from severe weather events like Storm Arwen. According to the newspaper report, Mount Blair Community Trust has warned that along with heavy snowfall, there could be fatal situations for people in rural areas.

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The Scottish Sun proceeds with a story about actress Sheridan Smith, who the paper says was swept down a narrow country road in her Range Rover and crashed into a tree during Storm Arwen. A neighbor tells the newspaper that Smith is lucky she is alive and that the accident “could have been fatal”.

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Police say a body found in Hamilton is that of missing 16-year-old Amber Gibson, Glasgow Times reports. The newspaper says the teenager was reported missing on Friday and her body was found near Cadjo Glen at around 10:15 on Sunday.

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The Edinbug Evening News leads families whose children have been waiting months for mental health services to ask for help from charities.

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The Scottish SPCA has rescued several puppies that were “thrown in the bushes” by breeders, The Evening Express reports.

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And the Evening Telegraph goes further with a viral image of a “flying” caravan landing on its roof in a man’s garden in Dundee. The newspaper says the incident happened during Hurricane Arwen’s 90 mph winds over the weekend.

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