The establishment of a standing committee on pandemics was a commitment of the new Scottish Government to deliver during its first 100 days in office. Comprising of leading scientists and medical specialists, the committee met for the first time on 19 August 2021, and has been tasked with ensuring that the country is as prepared as possible for any future risks from novel pathogens. The committee will provide expert advice across a range of areas, including public health, epidemiology, virology, behavioural sciences, global health, zoonotics and statistical modelling, and will recruit further members to support this objective.
Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Edinburgh chaired the meeting in an interim capacity, while a permanent chair is sought. Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Gregor Smith, is a member of the committee as is Professor Nick Phin, director of Public Health Science and medical director of Public Health Scotland (PHS).
The existing Covid-19 advisory group will continue to sit and advise ministers on the current pandemic, while the new committee will focus on preparedness for future emerging threats.
Source: Scottish Government, 19 August 2021