Public Health Scotland (PHS) welcomes the report on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, from the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) out today. The report includes data from Scotland. It shows that, across the UK, on the basis of an estimated 5.4 million first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine (and around 0.5 million second doses), these COVID-19 vaccines are safe so far as expected from the clinical trials. It shows that the expected benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines in preventing COVID-19 and its serious complications far outweigh any known side effects. As with all vaccines and medicines, the safety of COVID-19 vaccines is being continuously monitored. PHS will continue to work closely with Health Boards across Scotland, the Scottish Government and the MHRA and counterparts across the other nations, to monitor and ensure the safety of the vaccines.

Dr Mary E Black, Immunisation Lead at Public Health Scotland said:

"There is sound scientific evidence that vaccination is the best defence against serious infections. They offer a level of protection that we don’t have through any other means. Today’s report provides reassurance to everyone across the country that these COVID-19 vaccines are safe.

“We will continue to provide clinical advice and public health leadership as the COVID-19 vaccines join the existing ones in Scotland’s response to infectious diseases. For all the challenges that lie ahead, today gives us all additional confidence in our fight against the pandemic".

Remember FACTS for a safer Scotland:

• F – Face coverings
• A – Avoid crowded places
• C – Clean your hands regularly
• T – Two metre distance
• S – Self isolate and book a test if you have symptoms

You can read the report from the MHRA (external website).

For more information on the work we are doing to support the vaccination program, visit our COVID-19 vaccinations page.

Last updated: 06 October 2022