Details of response to current monkeypox outbreak: FOI release

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

Information requested

1. What preparations have the Scottish Government made to deal with monkey pox in the country and exact schedule of things they have done?

2. Any correspondence between Nicola sturgeon, Humza Yousaf and medical chiefs like Jason Leitch and Gregor Smith regarding the monkey pox disease over the last three month? If this costs too much narrow it down to one month.

3. Is there any plans to rollout monkeypox vaccine to Scotland?


The answers to your questions are:

1. The public health response to the current monkeypox outbreak in Scotland is being led by Public Health Scotland (PHS) and delivered in partnership with local NHS Health Protection Teams (HPTs) in each of the Scottish NHS Boards. PHS has established a national Incident Management Team (IMT), which meets weekly and whose membership includes representation from experts in clinical infectious disease, sexual health, infection prevention and control, health promotion, immunisation and health protection. PHS is working closely with the other UK public health agencies to deliver a coordinated four nations response.

Monkeypox is a notifiable disease under the provisions of the Public Health etc. (Scotland) Act 2008 and as such, all medical staff across Scotland report any suspected or confirmed cases to their HPTs. In order to plan measures to limit onward transmission, PHS undertake epidemiological analysis on the data gathered to better understand who is affected; trends over time; and any risk factors. Case numbers are published regularly on the PHS website and PHS also contribute to a more in-depth analysis at a UK level.

PHS and its partners have produced guidance and resources throughout the response to provide evidence based advice on steps for HPTs and others to limit transmission of monkeypox. This includes core guidance for HPTs around contact tracing, case follow-up, and vaccination; infection prevention guidance for healthcare settings; and leaflets with advice for people who have tested positive for monkeypox.

PHS is also working with SG and NHS Boards to undertake the rollout of vaccination for those considered to be at highest risk of contracting monkeypox. More details on the vaccination Programme are available on NHS Inform.

Relevant public information is kept up to date on NHS Inform including advice on: monkeypox symptoms, transmission and treatment; and monkeypox and safer sex. In addition the Scottish Government has recently provided funding for a programme of targeted health promotion work, which is being collaboratively produced by PHS, third sector partners and experts in sexual health.

2. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because no correspondence relevant to your request was found.

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

While the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Gregor Smith, is based in the Scottish Government and is supported by Scottish Government civil servants, ‘The Chief Medical Officer of the Scottish Administration’ is designated (at Part 2 of Schedule 1 of FOISA) as a wholly separate public authority from the Scottish Government (‘The Scottish Ministers’ are designated at Part 1 of Schedule 1). It should also be noted that requests for information submitted under FOISA cannot be transferred from one authority to another.

3. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommends the use of Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vaccines as part of the response to the current monkeypox outbreak, for people who are at higher risk of coming into contact with monkeypox. We will keep these recommendations under review.

The Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland (PHS) are working together with Health Boards to support the safe delivery of monkeypox vaccination. There is currently a limited supply of existing MVA vaccine, which Scotland has secured its share of. 

Vaccination is underway and it is currently being offered to those at highest risk first, to help reduce the spread.

Additional supplies are expected in September 2022, and people will be offered a first dose in priority order as soon as it becomes available.

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Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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