Publication - FOI/EIR release

Questions concerning the development of COVID-19 vaccine certification: FOI release

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

Published:
3 Mar 2021
Questions concerning the development of COVID-19 vaccine certification: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100140851
Date received: 20 Jan 2021
Date responded: 17 Feb 2021
Information requested

1. Has the Scottish Government had discussions or implemented any procedures relating to the COVID19 vaccine to make it ‘mandatory’ for Scottish citizens to have the vaccine, now or in the future?

2. Have the Scottish Government had any internal discussions, implemented any procedures, contracted any companies or been involved in any trials of a Health/COVID19 immunity passports?

3. I understand that the Scottish Government run under devolved powers; regarding the above topics, can Westminster implement these in Scotland and over-ride a decision made by the Scottish Government?

Response

1. On mandatory vaccinations, 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 in individual chooses to receive one.

While the Scottish Government strongly recommends that those eligible to receive vaccines should do so, vaccination is not mandatory: individuals have a choice as to whether they themselves are vaccinated and whether they vaccinate their children. We continue to make every effort to promote and encourage vaccinations. It is clear that our view on the importance of vaccination is shared by most people in Scotland as we have some of the highest uptake rates in Europe for our national programmes.

The decision on vaccination is one of personal choice and the Scottish Government has no current plans to introduce mandatory vaccination or to impose any penalties relating to this.

2. We continue to engage in international developments in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19), including on the issue of vaccine certification.

These discussions are led by the World Health Organisation and include consideration of technical details, ethical and equality issues, and privacy standards. The outcome of those discussions will guide our work in this area.

It is too soon to introduce any form of certification. We need to know more about the efficacy of the vaccines, their impact on transmission and the length of immunity before it would be safe to introduce a vaccine certificate.

3. As health is a devolved power in Scotland these decisions would lie with the Scottish Government.

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