For a few hours this week, we were given an insight into the closely-guarded secret at the centre of the UK’s vaccination programme.
It came courtesy of the Scottish government, which published its vaccination plan on Wednesday.
The plan included detailed figures for the number of vaccines that would be supplied to Scotland by the UK each week until the end of May.
The UK government objected, saying the publication of the figures would create difficulties for the pharmaceutical companies, and the offending page was quickly removed – but not before some clever internet users were able to save a copy.
This is what those numbers showed:
The reason this information is so valuable is because it allows us to get a sense of perhaps the most crucial piece of data in the entire vaccination programme: the number of vaccines available to the governments of the UK.
The UK government has promised to offer COVID-19 vaccines to 15 million vulnerable people by the middle of February.
More than a month into the programme, it’s managed to give 3.2 million people a jab. By international standards this is impressive. What’s more, according to today’s figures, the daily rate is now close to what is needed for the government to hit its goal.
Ministers have said that the limiting factor is supply of the vaccine, but the government has not published any figures on exactly how many vaccines the UK is expecting.
Without these numbers it’s very hard to judge the UK’s progress. We only have the a