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Seòmar agus comataidhean

Public Audit Committee

Covid-19: Vaccination programme

Letter from Convener to Caroline Lamb, Chief Executive of NHS Scotland and Director-General for Health and Social Care, Scottish Government, 10 November 2021

Dear Caroline,


Covid-19: Vaccination programme

The Public Audit Committee took evidence from the Auditor General for Scotland (AGS) on his briefing titled Covid-19: Vaccination programme at its meeting on 28 October 2021. While the Committee is encouraged by the progress that has been made to vaccinate a large proportion of Scotland’s population, it also recognises that vaccinating younger people, people living in economically deprived communities and some minority ethnic groups remains a challenge.

During the evidence session, the Committee noted that Public Health Scotland led a health inequalities impact assessment in November 2020 for an extended flu and Covid-19 vaccination programme. The AGS states in his briefing that the assessment “identified potential barriers to the uptake of flu and Covid-19 vaccines across different population groups, such as those from minority ethnic backgrounds and people living in deprived areas” as well as identifying recommendations for the Scottish Government and NHS boards to consider when planning the vaccination programme.

The Committee understands that the assessment has been shared with the Scottish Government, NHS National Services Scotland and local NHS boards. However, the assessment has not been made publicly available. This is despite the AGS calling for Public Health Scotland to do so in order to “share the findings more widely”.

The Committee would be grateful if you could outline why Public Health Scotland has not published the assessment, in line with the AGS’s recommendation, as well as provide us with a copy of the assessment.

The Committee looks forward to receiving your response to this letter by 8 December 2021.

Yours sincerely


Richard Leonard MSP