Immunisations: key points

  • Immunisation is one of the most important tools for protecting individuals and the community from serious infectious diseases.
  • The Scottish Immunisation Programme routinely offers children protection against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (whooping cough), Polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), Hepatitis B, Meningococcal disease, Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Pneumococcal disease, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Rotavirus and Influenza.
  • A range of other vaccines are offered to individuals belonging to specific groups or those at risk e.g. flu vaccine for those over 65 years of age, health care workers, pregnant women, and those with specific long-term health conditions or children with medical conditions from 6 months of age.
  • For children, uptake rates for vaccines given before age 12 months remained around 97% in 2016.
  • Trend data show a general increase in Scotland level uptake rates of MMR1 at 24 months, 5 and 6 years from 2003 and in 2016 rates were around 95%, 97% and 96%, respectively.
  • For teenagers vaccine uptake in 2015/16 for HPV was around 87% for S1 and 93% for S2 girls for the first dose, for MenACWY around 82% for S3 and 77% for S4 pupils and for the Td/IPV (diptheria, tetanus and polio) booster around 82% for S3 and 88% for S4 pupils.
  • For older adults, flu vaccine uptake was lower at the start of 2017 compared to the equivalent period in previous years, and shingles vaccine uptake was 54.4%, compared to 60.3% in 2014/15.
  • Inequalities exist in uptake at all ages.

Section updates:

  • The last major update of this section was completed in September 2017.
  • The next major update is due to be carried out by end September 2018.