COVID-19 vaccination programme: FOI release

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

Information requested

"Under Freedom of Information legislation that you explain the Government's lack of willingness to offer so many of your citizens in Scotland the option of a more traditional vaccination".


On 28 May, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency approved the single-dose Janssen vaccine for use in the UK. The Janssen vaccine has been granted authorisation for supply in the UK for adults aged 18 and over, and we anticipate receiving some stocks of the vaccine later this year. Janssen is a viral vector vaccine similar to AstraZeneca, but is a single-dose vaccine. As with all new COVID-19 vaccines, we anticipate that JCVI will provide a recommendation on how the Janssen vaccine should be deployed.

At present all COVID vaccines are procured on a 4 Nations basis by the UK Vaccines Taskforce. The UK Vaccine Taskforce has secured 20M doses of Janssen, of which Scotland will receive a proportionate share.

We welcome the positive results Valneva has reported from stage 3 clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine and the news that Valneva has secured a substantial order from Europe. As part of our wider work looking at future delivery of all vaccination programmes in Scotland, we are keen to continue to engage with Valneva on vaccine development. Valneva is a valued contributor to our life sciences sector and the Livingston facility is an important asset, supporting high quality jobs. We will continue to engage with and support the company.

People will not be offered options on which vaccine they will receive, unless there is a clinical reason why this would be required, such as an allergy. Any vaccine authorised for use in the UK, by the appropriate medical authorities is safe and effective, and will have a similar effect in terms of protection.

The vaccines being offered are based on clinical recommendations, including those of the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The vaccine received will also depend on availability and, for a limited number of people, clinical reasons. Based on current advice from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the JCVI, people will normally receive the same vaccine for their first and second dose.

If you have any concerns about receiving a specific vaccine, you should speak to your GP or clinician who will be able to advise, as the Scottish Government is unable to comment on individual medical circumstances. Your GP or clinician can then refer you to receive a specific vaccine if necessary.

Please see the following link for more information on vaccines.

Information on the vaccines you are eligible for, and the period between doses is available at Self-help guide: Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations | NHS inform.

About FOI

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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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