Information relating to IVF treatment for unvaccinated patients: FOI release

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

Information requested

NHS called to cancel all IVF appointments for people who are unvaccinated. They also said is government who decided to do this.

There's nothing about this online or in media.

Can you provide information when this was decided and introduced and is this under Scottish law? Also, is there any indication that process like this would be introduced for any sick person requiring treatment from NHS in future?


The answer to your question is the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation to temporarily defer fertility treatment for unvaccinated patients was made on the grounds of safety and the four NHS Assisted Conception Units began contacting patients from 22 December 2021. This was in light of evidence of increased risks of morbidity and severe illness from COVID-19 in unvaccinated pregnant women associated with the Delta variant of the disease and the uncertainties about the impact of the Omicron variant and the high and increasing level of virus incidence at the time. This recommendation followed clinical concerns raised by the lead Clinicians in the NHS Assisted Conception Units in Scotland and this overall approach is based on robust published evidence. The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Gregor Smith, explained the detail of the background to his recommendation in his letter to the NHS, which was published on 7 January 2022 and can be found here.

The Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation will be reviewed alongside evidence of risk as well as the prevailing levels of COVID-19 during January and February 2022.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have asked for because the Scottish Government currently has no plans to introduce requirements for vaccination for those who are ill and receiving other treatment within the NHS.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested.

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Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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