Anas Sarwar today thanked vaccinators for their vital work as he made the case for greater investment in medical science.
Speaking on a visit to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, the Scottish Labour leader said the vaccine demonstrated “the immense potential of medical science” and underlined the need for investment in the sector in Scotland.
Medical research has been badly affected by the pandemic, with the Institute for Public Policy Research estimating that £7.8bn – or nearly £1 in every £10 set to be invested in UK medical research – is at risk.
It has also been estimated that around 2,500 patients have missed out on potentially life-saving trials in Scotland.
As part of the party’s NHS Recovery Plan, Scottish Labour has said it will work closely with the research community to ensure that vital medical research and clinical trials are properly supported.
Mr Sarwar is a qualified dentist and revealed he had tried to become a volunteer vaccinator, but it proved impossible. He said: “I actually would have liked the idea of doing the vaccinations even as a retired member. But sadly the moment we’re too busy and focused on election campaign, otherwise, I would be in there doing the vaccinations myself.”
But today was all about saying thank you. He said: “To see that sense of relief, as we try and come through this, and to see that hope and optimism through the vaccinators’ own body language is incredible, and we can’t thank them enough.”
Mr Sarwar talked about the science and theneed for investing in research:“The development and roll-out of the vaccine has demonstrated the immense potential of medical science in Scotland and across the UK, and the huge, positive impact it can have on all of our lives.
“The pandemic has badly hit medical research in Scotland, with institutions and charities facing uncertain futures.
“Scottish Labour is committed to working with the research community to protect and enhance medical research in Scotland.
“This pandemic has demonstrated just how important medical research is – Scottish Labour is committed to securing a brighter future for the sector so that it can continue to save lives through its work.”