Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) vaccine priority list: FOI release

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

Information requested

“Can you please provide the following information:

  • All correspondence between SG Officials on the subject of COVID-19 vaccine for unpaid carers.

  • This should include minutes of meetings, e-mails, briefings etc

  • This should also include all correspondence and advice to Ministers.

  • Please provide everything between 1st November and 29th December

Can you also provide information on why unpaid carers were originally grouped in the 1st wave (as highlighted in the Cabinet Secretary for Health’s speech on the 19th November) and are now no longer part of the 1st wave of vaccinations. Can you also include a date on when they were officially
removed from this wave.”


Regarding your request for correspondence between Scottish Government officials on the subject of COVID-19 vaccinations for unpaid carers; while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. The reason for this is that to locate and retrieve that information we would need to conduct a search of all of the records of the Scottish Government. Under Section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. For example, you could restrict your request to a specific business area of the Scottish Government, as this would allow us to limit the searches that would require to be conducted. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on his website at:

Regarding the second part of your request; the Scottish Government prioritises those who are eligible for vaccination according to the independent expert advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI).

The JCVI published its final list of vaccine priority groups on the 2nd of December 2020, which represents Phase I of the vaccination programme.

This prioritisation list is as follows:





Residents and workers in care homes for older people.


All those 80 years of age and over


Patient facing, frontline healthcare workers.


Non-clinical but patient facing staff in secondary or primary care/community healthcare settings.


Laboratory and pathology staff


Social care staff directly involved in the care of their service users and others involved directly in delivering social care such that they and vulnerable patients/clients are at increased risk of



all those 75 years of age and over


all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals


all those 65 years of age and over


all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at

higher risk of serious disease and mortality


Unpaid carers, including all adult carers and young carers aged 16 to 18


all those 60 years of age and over


all those 55 years of age and over


all those 50 years of age and over

Unpaid carers are therefore eligible to be vaccinated as part of Phase I alongside those with underlying health conditions.

The JCVI published an interim prioritisation list on the 25th of September 2020. This interim list did not specify whether unpaid carers would qualify in Group 2 as social care workers or not. This was clarified following the publication on the JCVI’s final prioritisation list on the 2nd of December 2020, which placed frontline health and social care workers in Group 2 and unpaid carers in Group 6.

Since the Scottish Government’s acceptance of the JCVI recommendations for the Prioritisation List, unpaid carers have been in Phase 1 of the Vaccination Programme.

We are unable to provide precise dates for when each group on the JCVI prioritisation list receive their vaccination as this is dependent on vaccine supply. However, we are working to ensure we protect as many people as possible as quickly as possible, and we hope to have vaccinated all those on the JCVI prioritisation list by the end of spring 2021, supplies permitting.


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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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