Publication - FOI/EIR release

COVID-19 vaccinations: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
29 Jul 2020
COVID-19 vaccinations: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000024591
Date received: 29 Mar 2020
Date responded: 8 Jul 2020
Information requested

Does the Scottish government have plans to initiate a mandatory vaccination programme in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and /or is this being discussed in parliament in Scotland or Westminster as a possibility in Scotland.

What is the name and origin of the vaccine that will be used by the government in Scotland to immunise against SARS-CoV-2?

Where can information be accessed on the vaccine intended to be used in Scotland for immunisation against SARS-Cov-2? (Specifically for information on ingredients, testing for efficacy and safety.)

If the vaccine is of a genetic nature.  Which genome/ genomes or (section of ) does it protect against.  What strain of Coronavirus will it infer protection against.  How has this been evidenced?

Has this information been analysed by experts on behalf of the government in Scotland, and if so, has this been discussed in parliament or consultation, and where can this information be accessed.

If mandatory vaccination is being looked at as a possibility in Scotland, please state how this will be implemented, and what will the  penalty be for anyone who refuses.  How will the government use powers in the event that a citizen refused to be vaccinated or to have their child vaccinated.  Please list any communication between ministers or members of parliament that discusses this.

Response

You asked:

  • Whether the Scottish Government has plans to initiate a mandatory vaccination programme in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and whether this is being discussed in parliament in Scotland or Westminster as a possibility in Scotland.

The Scottish Government remains committed to vaccination programs and while we strongly recommend that individuals eligible to receive vaccinations do so, vaccinations are not mandatory and it remains a personal choice whether an individual chooses to receive one. For information about discussions in the Scottish Parliament and UK Government, you should contact the following: 
info@parliament.scot
https://www.parliament.uk/site-information/contact-us/

  • What is the name and origin of the vaccine that will be used by the government in Scotland to immunise against SARS-CoV-2?
  • Where can information be accessed on the vaccine intended to be used in Scotland for immunisation against SARS-Cov-2? (Specifically for information on ingredients, testing for efficacy and safety.)
  • If the vaccine is of a genetic nature. Which genome/ genomes or (section of ) does it protect against. What strain of Coronavirus will it infer protection against. How has this been evidenced?
  • Has this information been analysed by experts on behalf of the government in Scotland, and if so, has this been discussed in parliament or consultation, and where can this information be accessed.

No effective Covid-19 vaccination has been identified, and the Scottish Government does not hold the information you request. In relation to COVID-19 vaccination development and potential vaccine candidates, the Scottish Government will be guided by advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI), SAGE, Health Protection Scotland and the Interim Chief Medical Officer. The JCVI provides independent scientific advice on immunisation to all UK Health Departments, including on the efficacy and safety of vaccines. In addition the safety of all vaccines and medicines is monitored by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on a UK wide basis.

No information is yet available on the potential COVID-19 vaccinations ingredients as clinical trials have not concluded and a safe, effective vaccine is yet to be identified. However, it may be useful to know that information on vaccine ingredients and safety can be found here.

It may be also be useful to know that the COVID-19 vaccine candidate which is currently closest to the completion of clinical trials in the UK is the vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford.
Information about this vaccine development can be found here. You can also find tracked information about the stages of development of different COVID-19 treatments and vaccines are at globally, here.

In relation to the following element of your request:
“If mandatory vaccination is being looked at as a possibility in Scotland, please state how this will be implemented, and what will the penalty be for anyone who refuses. How will the government use powers in the event that a citizen refused to be vaccinated or to have their child vaccinated. Please list any communication between ministers or members of parliament that discusses this.”

As set out above, vaccines remain voluntary and there are not currently plans for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in Scotland. I can confirm that the Scottish Government does not hold any information in relation to this part of your request.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG