NICOLA Sturgeon has said only a “small number” of people were turned away from vaccine booster appointments after a glitch in the booking system.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) updated its advice on Monday to make all over-18s eligible for a third Covid jab three months after their second.

On Wednesday, reports emerged that some of those with appointments for boosters were being turned away from their appointments and told they had to have a gap of 24 weeks between doses, as the advice had previously stated.

Addressing the issue in Holyrood, the First Minister apologised to those who had been affected and said the glitch had now been fixed.

READ MORE: Covid Scotland: Who can get a booster jab and how to book?

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross raised the issue at FMQs and asked how the glitch was allowed to happen.

He said: “Earlier this week, the JCVI updated their guidance meaning people can get their booster jag three months after their second jag rather than six months later, but last night it emerged people who are now eligible for the vaccine were actually being turned away.

“First Minister, how was this allowed to happen? And has it now been resolved, so no-one else is refused a vaccine they are entitled to?”

The First Minister apologised to anyone who was turned away from a vaccine clinic.

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She continued: “When advice changes, and the JCVI advice changed on Monday, then because this is a clinical procedure there is a process of updating protocols and materials to make sure that everything is being done in line with clinical protocol.

“In the normal course of events that is a process that would take around a week. That has happened now already and we have taken steps to ensure that that information has been cascaded down to vaccination clinics everywhere across Scotland.

“And it is important that people who had that experience yesterday, and let me stress it was a small number of people, can go on to the website and rebook their appointment now if they are within what is now three months or over rather that three month period.”

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Sturgeon added that the vaccine programme is continuing to go well but added that when advice changes quickly there can be “glitches in the system”.

She continued: “We try to avoid that happening, but when it does happen we take steps to rectify that as quickly as possible.

“And I think it's fair to say also just saw on social media this morning a prominent journalist in England narrating exactly the same experience at a vaccine clinic in England.

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The JCVI has advised Covid-19 booster vaccines for all over-18s

“So these are issues that we are all dealing with right now but we are all making sure that we are working hard to continue the excellent progress of this vaccination programme.”

Ross added: "While her apology is very welcome and her back benchers are shouting its solved, her and the Deputy Prime Minister are going along the lines that this was all an issue yesterday.

"But we are still hearing this morning of people turning up on Thursday morning to get the vaccine they had booked and they were turned away.

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"Turned away despite having an appointment."

Sturgeon said that as vaccination is a clinical procedure each time the advice changes protocols have to be replaced.

She added: "That is a process that normally takes much longer than this, it has been done more quickly, rightly and proprely because of the urgency of the vaccination programme."

The JCVI changed its advice on boosters earlier this week stating that it will help increase adults’ protection levels following the emergence of the new Omicron variant.

Currently, there are 10 confirmed cases of Omicron in Scotland. Nine were linked to one single event, however, the tenth was not directly linked to the others.