31 March 2022
Complaint in respect of ATISN 16087 – Vaccination of Children
I am responding to your email which was received on 10 March 2022 in which you asked us to review the response issued to your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). This letter is to inform you of the outcome.
In your original request dated 15 February 2022, you referred to Wales’ plans to offer Covid vaccines to all over-5s, even though England had not made its decision, and asked for the following:
- The data and test data of the vaccination to show that it works and stops Covid, does not effects the children's development through adolescence (say 5 to 10 years) and is 100% safe
In our response dated 9 March 2022, we provided a link to the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) advice about Covid-19 vaccination for children aged five to 11 who are not considered to be at clinical risk. This is the evidence which Ministers used to assist with their decision making.
We also explained that the three COVID-19 vaccines which are currently being used in the UK have been authorised for supply by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) following a thorough review of safety, quality and efficacy information. The Welsh Government has considered the information from the MHRA regarding to the clinical trials and data.
In your email dated 10 March, you stated that you were not satisfied with our response.
I have reviewed our response to your FOI request in accordance with the procedure stated in my previous letter to you (dated 14 March). The FOIA provides the right to access recorded information held by Welsh Government and does not require us to create any new information in order to answer questions.
The Welsh Government does not hold the information you requested, but we knew where it could be found. Therefore, in accordance with our duty under section 16 of the FOIA we provided you with links to where the JCVI and MHRA information can be found on the internet. In my view this was a reasonable response, and therefore I do not uphold your complaint.
If you remain dissatisfied with this response you also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Tel: 01625 545 745
Fax: 01625 524 510
FOI and EIR complaints | ICO
Also, if you think that there has been maladministration in dealing with your request, you have the option to make a complaint to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales who can be contacted at:
Public Services Ombudsman for Wales
1 Ffordd yr Hen Gae
Telephone: 0845 6010987 (local rate)
Judith Paget CBE
9 March 2022
ATISN 16087 – Vaccination of Children
Thank you for your request to the Welsh Government for information under the Freedom of Information Act (2000) received on 15 February 2022. You requested the following:
The data and test data of the vaccination to show that it works and stops COVID, does not effects the children's development through adolescence (say 5 to 10 years) and is 100% safe
The vaccination against COVID-19 forms part of the Welsh Government response to the pandemic and we have not indicated that the vaccine by itself would prevent COVID.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) updated and published their advice about COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 who were considered not to be at clinical risk found on the following link: JCVI statement on vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 years old (GOV.UK).
Three COVID-19 vaccines - the COVID-19 Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine, COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna – are currently being used in the UK. All have been authorised for supply by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) following a thorough review of safety, quality and efficacy information from clinical trials. In clinical trials, the vaccines showed very high levels of protection against symptomatic infections with COVID-19. Data are available on the impact of the vaccination campaign in reducing infections and illness in the UK.
The MHRA confirmed on 9 September 2021 that the COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca can be used as safe and effective booster doses. Following review of data for the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna vaccine, the MHRA and Commission on Human Medicine (CHM) experts also concluded that this vaccine can be used as a safe and effective booster dose.
All vaccines and medicines have some side effects. These side effects need to be continuously balanced against the expected benefits in preventing illness. For further information with regards to adverse effects, please see the following: Coronavirus vaccine - weekly summary of Yellow Card reporting (GOV.UK).
If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information Officer at:
Information Rights Unit
or Email: Freedomofinformation@gov.wales
Please remember to quote the ATISN reference number above.
You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.