Election 2021

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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-35529
Asked by: Donald Cameron, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 25 February 2021


To ask the Scottish Government what guidance it has produced regarding offering hospital patients aged (a) 60 to 69, (b) 70 to 79 and (c) 80 or over a COVID-19 vaccination prior to discharge, and under what circumstances it (i) must and (ii) must not be offered.

Current status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 16 March 2021


We follow a general approach for vaccinating hospital patients who are prioritised for vaccine as per the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) advice.

One of the first things we recommended and undertook when vaccination started in December was to vaccinate those elderly people in ‘longer-stay’ hospital settings - i.e. those who were clinically stable and therefore appropriate to be vaccinated.

It’s important to note that vaccinating people as soon as they enter hospital will not immediately prevent COVID-19 infection or disease as we all know, as it takes time for an immune response to develop to the vaccine (2-3 weeks).

The recommendation for patients admitted to hospital for non-COVID illness, is not to give a vaccine until the patient recovers from their acute illness.

This is a standard recommendation in the Green Book for all vaccines and applied across all UK countries.

The Chief Medical Officer advises that patients should be only vaccinated once they have recovered, so any side effects are not confused with symptoms of the disease they were admitted to hospital for.