Public Health Scotland – the first year: successes and lessons

Over its first year Public Health Scotland (PHS) played a key role in the national vaccination programme by providing professional leadership and expertise. We expedited the reporting of all aspects of the pandemic, and accelerated rapid evidence reviews. We contributed to rigorous research showing that: vaccination reduced hospitalisation by 90%, and the transmission of COVID-19 within households by 55%; hence vaccination works. Lessons for the future included strengthening whole genome sequencing to manage COVID-19 and to prepare for future pathogens.