Cost of Covid-19 vaccine: FOI release

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

Information requested

1) How much does each experimental potion (covid19 vaccine) the Scottish people??

2) Ie pharmaceutical companies individual cist fir their products??

3) I ask the same as the influenza vaccine hiw much dies each individual dise cist the people of Scotland.

4) Why are people who need new hips and knees being forced to use the private sector??


Regarding questions 1, 2 and 3, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information you have requested because an exemption under Section 33(1)(a)(ii) (commercial interests) of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption(s) applies are explained below.

All information relating to the unit price of vaccines or the availability of vaccine at Health Board, Scotland or UK level is considered commercially sensitive, under the terms of the specific contract conditions in place with suppliers. Under Section 33 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) information may be withheld if: section 1(a)(ii) disclosure would (or would be likely to) prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person or organisation.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, we have considered whether or not the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, however, there is a greater public interest in ensuring that the affected party is able to maintain its ability to conduct private and sensitive commercial activity.

Regarding question 4, We are absolutely committed to keeping our NHS true to its founding principles – publicly-owned, publicly-operated, and free at the point of need. As is the case across the UK, hospitals in the independent sector have been contracted to provide additional capacity for NHS priority patients throughout the pandemic. Their use is therefore not a new development, and represents less than 0.2 per cent of the overall health budget. The NHS remains under unprecedented pressure as a result of COVID-19 but we are doing everything possible to ensure patients continue to be seen and treated based on their clinical risk.

Surgical capacity has been reduced across all NHS Boards as they have responded to Covid-19 demand with theatre nursing and anaesthetic staff supporting additional ICU, HDU and Covid wards. This support has continued at varying levels dependent on demand from Covid-19 along with staffing shortages, however all NHS Boards are focused to increase surgical activity as quickly and safely as possible.

In order to most appropriately utilise the available surgical capacity at this time, all Boards are applying a process of clinical prioritisation to schedule the most urgent patients for surgery. This will aim to address cancer patients and those with urgent conditions in the first instance. As a consequence more routine surgery, such as hip and knee procedures, will have extended waits as the NHS work through the backlog that has developed through the pandemic.

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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