The Scottish Conservatives are to champion the vaccine rollout as an ‘incredible success story’ that has demonstrated the overwhelming benefits of Scotland remaining part of the UK.

Scottish party leader, Douglas Ross, will be joined by GP and Glasgow candidate Sandesh Gulhane on Thursday to praise the rollout, as the party also confirms its NHS spending pledges for the next term of the Scottish Parliament.

In Scotland, around 2.5 million people have been vaccinated, and over 30 million people have received their first dose in the UK.

The Conservatives claim that Scotland could have had 1.5 million fewer vaccines if the country was not still in the UK.

Douglas Ross said that the vaccine rollout has exposed another weakness in the nationalist case for independence.

He praised NHS staff, including Dr Gulhane, volunteers and the Armed Forces who have ensured the vaccination programme is an incredible success.

Mr Ross said: “The vaccination rollout has been an incredible success story across Scotland and the United Kingdom. It has shown the overwhelming benefits of us working together across our Union to emerge from the Covid crisis.

“My thanks go to our heroic NHS staff, volunteers in our communities and our Armed Forces who have all stepped up to deliver this astonishing achievement.

“We are seeing, with reduced hospitalisations and deaths, the positive effects of the vaccine and how it will help us return to a sense of normality in the coming months.

“The SNP are in denial about how much worse off we would be if they had got their way and we were left out of the world-leading UK vaccine scheme.

“The vaccine rollout has exposed another glaring weakness in the nationalist argument for independence and the SNP’s plan to put another divisive referendum over our recovery.

“The Scottish Conservatives are committed to fully funding our NHS over the course of the next Parliament to ensure our health service is prepared for any future challenges.”

GP and Scottish Conservative Glasgow candidate Sandesh Gulhane said: “I am immensely proud to be playing a part in delivering vaccines into people’s arms.

“I would encourage everyone to take up the vaccine when it is your turn, particularly those in our BAME communities. It really can help save your life.

“We must continue to work together across the United Kingdom in order to give that level of protection to people as quickly as possible. It is by far and away our best route out of restrictions.”