Covid Scotland: What does fully vaccinated mean in Scotland?

The Scottish Government has recently announced several changes to rules around self-isolation for “fully vaccinated” individuals in Scotland.

As of Wednesday, fully vaccinated close contacts of people who test positive for Covid-19 will no longer be required to self-isolate, so long as they do not have a fever and take a lateral flow test every day for seven days, with each result coming back negative.

And from today, fully vaccinated adults travelling to Scotland from abroad will no longer need to take a pre-departure Covid test, and won’t need to self-isolate on arrival until they test negative either.

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But what does “fully vaccinated” mean?

Owen Morrison, 15, receives his Covid-19 vaccine from student nurse Anthony McLaughlin during a vaccination clinic at the Glasgow Central Mosque. Picture date: Monday January 3, 2022.

It now depends on the context. Until recently, this has referred to people who have received two doses of vaccine.

However, Nicola Sturgeon announced on Wednesday that to qualify for self-isolation exemptions, close contacts of those with Covid will need to have received three vaccine doses.

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However, the change to rules around testing and self-isolation for travellers from abroad will apply to people who are fully vaccinated with two doses.

These rules comply with those for the rest of the UK, and cover the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Covaxin vaccines.

Passengers will also count as fully vaccinated after receiving just one dose of the Janssen vaccine, which has a single-dose regimen.

The final dose of vaccine must also have been given at least 14 days before a person arrives in Scotland, which is not a requirement stipulated for the relaxation of self-isolation rules.

The definition of “fully vaccinated” for the purposes of entering a nightclub or other venue required to ask for Covid certification remains at two doses, but the Scottish Government has said this is “under review”.

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In this case, too, the final dose must have been given at least two weeks previously, in order for it to have taken effect.

Covid certificates can also now be based on the negative results of a lateral flow test, regardless of vaccination.

One further change recently announced by Ms Sturgeon, the reduction of the self-isolation period from ten to seven days for people with Covid providing they produce two negative lateral flow tests, applies regardless of vaccination.

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