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Coronavirus (COVID-19): vaccinations data – technical note

Published: 25 Jan 2021
Last updated: 12 Mar 2021 - see all updates

Information on how the vaccinations data is collected, and provisional population estimates used to assess and report vaccine uptake for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) priority groups.

Published:
25 Jan 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19): vaccinations data – technical note

Vaccinations Data Sources

Vaccinations that are carried out in Scotland are reported in the Vaccination Management Tool (VMT). This allows Health and Social Care staff to create real-time patient vaccination records, and means that the vaccination record is captured in a digital format at source.

Data is extracted at 8:30am each day from the VMT and reported as management information. Vaccinations at GP practices are included in the headline figures reported and work is underway to incorporate data from GP IT systems into the Vaccination Management Tool (VMT) to provide a single data source for all vaccinations. Continuous quality assurance takes place on the data in the VMT to rectify any data anomalies.

Reporting Vaccine Uptake

Reporting progress of the vaccination programme will be in line with the approach set out in Scotland’s COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan and will enable progress to be monitored for the priority groups recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Population estimates (denominators) are needed for each of the JCVI priority groups to allow us to assess vaccine uptake. Indicative estimates were published in the COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan drawing on the latest available data. Table 1 includes details of these estimates along with further information about data sources, known strengths and limitations, and ongoing development work. Information is presented for the initial JCVI priority groups reflecting the stage of the vaccination programme.

It is important to note that these estimates are provisional and include some assumptions and adjustments to avoid double counting individuals who could be in more than one priority group. We recognise for some groups, such as care home residents, the population can change. Therefore ongoing review and quality assurance will take place throughout the vaccination programme to ensure the estimates reflect the latest eligible population for each priority group.

Scottish Government are working closely with colleagues in Public Health Scotland, NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) who lead on the VMT, UK Government and the other devolved administrations, to ensure we have a consistent approach to vaccination reporting.

Given the importance of understanding progress of the vaccination programme, the data presented in Table 1 is shared to enable a consistent understanding and to promote transparency and clarity in the data being used to underpin assessment of progress. We will publish updates for all JCVI priority groups, including a clear explanation if there are any changes, as the vaccination programme develops.

Table 1: Population of JCVI Priority Groups

 

JCVI Priority

Group

Estimated population

Further Information

1

Residents and workers in care homes for older people

Residents and those working in long-stay residential and nursing care homes or other long-stay care facilities for older adults where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high morbidity and mortality. This includes non-clinical ancillary staff who may have social contact with resident but are not directly involved in patient care, such as cleaners and kitchen staff.

Older adult care homes

 

30,000 residents

 

45,000

Staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All care homes

 

32,000

Residents

 

52,000

Staff

This information is sourced from the TURAS Care Home Safety Huddle Tool. The Safety Huddle Tool is a management information system set-up during the COVID-19 pandemic and collects a variety of information, mostly related to the pandemic, from adult care homes on a daily basis by care homes submitting to the system.

The Safety Huddle Tool is available daily but not all care homes complete on a daily basis. There are a small number of homes that have not provided any information through the tool, mainly respite centres. It should be noted the huddle tool is self-reported by care homes and not quality assured centrally

The Safety Huddle Tool includes more up-to-date data on the number of residents and staff in care homes, than that available from the latest official statistics published. The Safety Huddle Tool system has therefore been used to provide the latest estimate of the populations in JCVI priority group one, residents and those working in long-stay residential and nursing care homes or other long-stay care facilities for older adults, including non-clinical ancillary staff who may have social contact with residents. 
We use care home type information from the Care Inspectorate to identify the older people care homes.

These latest estimates from the Safety Huddle Tool included in the Vaccine Deployment Plan are those available at time of publication (14 January 2021). The estimates are rounded to the nearest thousand, recognising that the exact number of residents and staff will fluctuate.

Public Health Scotland are the official source for the number of residents in adult care homes in Scotland and publish this information on an annual basis through the
Scottish Care Home Census (SCHC). The most recently published SCHC presents data up to the 31st March 2019 and shows 35,630 total residents in adult care homes, of which, most are in older people care homes (32,445). Most of these older people care home residents are long-stay (30,914).

The Scottish Social Services Council are the official source for workforce data related to the social services sector in Scotland and publish an
annual report on the workforce. The most recent report covers the workforce as at the 31st December 2019 and shows 53,080 care home staff in all adult care home types. This includes all care home types (older people, physical and sensory impairment, mental health problems, learning disabilities and other groups) as well as stay type (long-stay or short-stay and respite), as well as non-clinical staff such as catering, domestic and gardening.

The exact number of residents and staff in care homes will fluctuate, however official publications show on average they are fairly consistent. For example, the number of staff in care homes for adults in 2010 was 54,540 compared to 53,080 in 2019. While the number of long-stay residents in older people care homes was 32,685 in 2010 and 30,914 in 2019.

2

All those 80 years of age and over

250,000

(estimated living in the community)

 

269,894

(all aged 80+)

Individuals aged 80 and over living in the community, adjusted to remove those in care homes to avoid double counting with JCVI priority group 1.

This information was provided by NHS Health Boards as part of a Vaccination Planning Project which asked Boards to submit data on the priority cohorts as part of work to develop COVID-19 vaccination delivery plans.

National Records of Scotland are the official source for mid-year population estimates and those statistics may be used when reporting uptake for the total number of individuals aged 80 and over vaccinated. This will involve some overlap with JCVI priority group 1 as there will be some care home residents aged 80 or over. Reporting will make clear if it based on ‘all over 80s’ or ‘over 80s in the community, excluding care home residents’.The latest mid-year population estimates relate to the population as at mid-2019 (30 June 2019).

2

Patient facing, frontline healthcare workers

 

Non-clinical but patient facing staff in secondary or primary care/community healthcare settings

 

Laboratory and pathology staff

 

Social care staff directly involved in the care of their service users and others involved directly in delivering social care such that they and vulnerable patients/clients are at increased risk of exposure

230,000

Frontline health and social care workers, reported by Health Boards as part of a Vaccination Planning Project which asked Boards to submit data on the priority cohorts as part of work to develop COVID-19 vaccination delivery plans. This should exclude care home staff who are included under JCVI priority group 1.

Definitions of the target population are described below. Work is ongoing to quality assure the data submitted by Health Boards.

Patient facing, frontline healthcare workers - Staff who have frequent face-to-face clinical contact with patients and who are directly involved in patient care in either secondary or primary care/community settings. This includes doctors, dentists, midwives and nurses, vaccinators, paramedics and ambulance drivers, pharmacists, optometrists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, radiographers and any associated support staff of independent contractors. It should include those working in public, private, third sector and non-standard healthcare settings such as hospices, and community-based mental health or addiction services. It should include Healthcare Improvement Scotland inspectors who are required to visit premises. Temporary staff, including those working in the COVID-19 vaccination programme, students, trainees and volunteers who are working with patients must also be included.

Non-clinical but patient facing staff in secondary or primary care/community healthcare settings - This includes non-clinical ancillary staff who may have social contact with patients but are not directly involved in patient care. This group includes receptionists, ward clerks, porters and cleaners.

Laboratory and pathology staff - Hospital-based laboratory and mortuary staff who frequently handle SARS-CoV-2 or collect or handle potentially infected specimens, including respiratory, gastrointestinal and blood specimens should be eligible as they may also have social contact with patients. This may also include cleaners, porters, secretaries and receptionists in laboratories. Frontline funeral operatives and mortuary technicians / embalmers are both at risk of exposure and likely to spend a considerable amount of time in care homes and hospital settings where they may also expose multiple patients. However, not included here are staff working in non-hospital-based laboratory and those academic or commercial research laboratories who handle clinical specimens or potentially infected samples as they will be able to use effective protective equipment in their work and should be at low risk of exposure.

Social care staff directly involved in the care of their service users and others involved directly in delivering social care such that they and vulnerable patients/clients are at increased risk of exposure - This includes, for example, workers in residential care for adults and children, supported housing, and also personal assistants and social workers who have face-to-face contact in the course of their duties including child, adult, mental health officer duties and public protection. It should include Care Inspectorate staff who are required to visit care homes and other registered services. Young people age 16-18 years, who are employed in, studying or in training for health and social care work should be offered vaccination alongside their colleagues if a suitable vaccine is available.

3

All those 75-79 years of age

190,000

(estimated living in the community)

 

195,951

(all aged 75-79)

Individuals aged 75-79 living in the community, adjusted to remove those in care homes to avoid double counting with JCVI priority group 1.

This information is based on the National Records of Scotland mid-year population estimate, with the estimated number of 75-79 year olds in care homes removed. The figure has been rounded to the nearest 10,000.

National Records of Scotland are the official source for mid-year population estimates and those statistics may be used when reporting uptake for the total number of individuals aged 75-79 vaccinated. This will involve some overlap with JCVI priority group 1 as there will be some care home residents aged 75-79. Reporting will make clear if it based on ‘all 75-79 year olds’ or ’75-79 year olds in the community, excluding care home residents’.The latest mid-year population estimates relate to the population as at mid-2019 (30 June 2019).

4

All those 70-74 years of age

280,000

(estimated living in the community)

 

278,856

(all aged 70-74)

Individuals aged 70-74 living in the community, adjusted to remove those in care homes to avoid double counting with JCVI priority group 1.

This information is based on the National Records of Scotland mid-year population estimate, with the estimated number of 70-74 year olds in care homes removed. The figure has been rounded to the nearest 10,000.

National Records of Scotland are the official source for mid-year population estimates and those statistics may be used when reporting uptake for the total number of individuals aged 70-74 vaccinated. This will involve some overlap with JCVI priority group 1 as there will be some care home residents aged 70-74. Reporting will make clear if it based on ‘all 70-74 year olds’ or ’70-74 year olds in the community, excluding care home residents’.The latest mid-year population estimates relate to the population as at mid-2019 (30 June 2019).

4

Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals

179,267

This is the number of people on the shielding list as of 29th January 2021 aged 16 and over. This will involve some overlap with other JCVI priority groups.

Shielding was introduced in March 2020 to identify people at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and to protect them from coming into contact with COVID-19, by minimising interaction between them and others. Shielding measures were paused in August 2020.

5

All those 65-69 years of age

299,444

(all aged 65-69)

 

All individuals aged 65-69 years.

This information is based on the National Records of Scotland mid-year population estimates. The latest estimates are mid-2019 relating to the population as at 30 June. 

This will involve some overlap if individuals in this age group have been vaccinated in other priority groups. For example, some may have been vaccinated if they are a frontline health and social care worker.

Changes to reporting

From Monday 15 February 2021 we changed the way we report breakdowns for age groups to focus on all vaccinated in each age group. Previously we removed people if already vaccinated in a higher priority group (e.g. care home residents), however as the vaccination programme progresses and we move down the priority groups this becomes more common. Figures reported on the old basis are still available in Table 10b in the trends in daily data spreadsheet. Figures reported on the new basis are provided in Table 10c.

From Friday 26 February 2021, Public Health Scotland (PHS) launched a new section on their public facing COVID-19 dashboard which provides daily vaccinations data. This includes:

  • Total vaccinations – daily count and daily cumulative total and dose 1 or 2
  • Vaccination by age group and sex including percentage of population who have received 1st dose
  • Vaccination by location – NHS Health Board and local authority level
  • Vaccinations second doses for each age group, sex and location (added from Friday 5 March 2021)
  • Vaccinations by JCVI priority group, including care home residents, care home staff, frontline health and social care workers, and clinically extremely vulnerable (added from Friday 12 March 2021).

The PHS dashboard will continue to be developed, with additional breakdowns published where feasible, to provide the latest evidence on progress of the vaccination programme.

Scottish Government (SG) are working closely with PHS and will signpost to the PHS dashboard to access the latest daily data and the breakdowns available.  

Changes to methodology

Scottish Government vaccination reporting by age was based on age at time of vaccine (dose 1). Public Health Scotland (PHS) vaccination reporting by age will now be based on age as at 31 March 2021. This approach of using age as at a fixed point in time is a standard approach in vaccination surveillance programmes. It allows a fixed cohort to be sent to Health Boards to schedule vaccination appointments for those eligible based on their age as at 31 March 2021. The PHS reporting also fixes a processing error, which meant that some records were allocated to the wrong age group. The table below shows the impact of the changes to age reporting.

Daily COVID-19 Vaccinations in Scotland by age group, as at 08:30am on Thursday 24 February

Age Group

New approach on PHS dashboard

Approach on SG website

Number of individuals vaccinated

Estimated population

% vaccinated

Number of individuals vaccinated

Estimated population

% vaccinated

80+

260,207

269,894

96.4%

274,861

269,894

*

75-79

191,119

195,951

97.5%

210,689

195,591

*

70-74

273,043

278,856

97.9%

272,301

278,856

97.6%

65-69

273,850

299,444

91.5%

250,585

299,444

83.7%

* Exceeding estimated population (mid-2019 population estimates).

 

For Care home residents PHS have introduced a new measure to report the total number of ‘current’ residents of care homes for older adults who have received dose 1 and 2, and the associated coverage %. The benefit of the new PHS approach is that it is able to identify the number and % of current care home residents who have been vaccinated. Each month PHS will update the care home resident population to account for people moving into and out of care homes. It is based on a care home flag in the Community Health Index (CHI) database and is improved further by identifying additional residents living in particular known locations of care homes using postcodes and their unique property reference numbers. This snapshot estimate of the ‘current’ population of residents in care homes for older adults is not perfect, but it is the best estimate we have available and it will be updated on a monthly basis.

PHS will continue to report the total number of care home residents receiving dose 1 and dose 2 as published on the GOV.SCOT daily data page. However, PHS will not provide a coverage % for these figures. The coverage % currently reported by the SG exceeds 100% because new care home residents are included in the number vaccinated and it also includes some care home residents who have since died. The SG estimate of the number of care home residents is based upon our understanding of the estimated population from the TURAS Safety Huddle Tool as at 11 January. PHS will continue to publish the data on the same basis to provide an understanding of the cumulative number of all care home residents who have been vaccinated since the vaccination programme began.

For Frontline Health & Social Care Workers PHS have introduced a new measure to report on specified frontline health and social care worker roles – including registered NHS staff within the job family nursing/midwifery, medical and dental, ambulance services, Allied Health Professions and registered GPs; registered Scottish Social Services Council staff. This is a narrower definition but it allows an accurate measure of % coverage and vaccine uptake in those frontline roles. However, it is important to note that this approach does not include all frontline staff.

PHS will continue to report the total number of health and social care workers vaccinated as published on the GOV.SCOT daily data page. However, PHS will not provide a coverage % for these figures. The coverage % currently reported by the SG exceeds 100% due to issues defining frontline roles, so reporting the latest number vaccinated (and not including a % coverage) is recommended.

Although some of the PHS reporting is on the same basis, there are some small differences between the numbers the SG has been reporting and what PHS will report. The only noteable difference is a reduction of one per cent in the number of frontline health and social care workers vaccinated, due to additional quality assurance of the data.

More information, including definitions for each measure, can be found on the PHS dashboard.   

Access the latest vaccinations data

Scottish Government publish daily headline vaccination figures on cumulative 1st and 2nd doses as part of the Coronavirus (COVID-19): daily data for Scotland.

Public Health Scotland (PHS) publish daily vaccination figures on their COVID-19 dashboard. This includes data on first and second doses by sex, age, location (NHS Health Board and local authority), and JCVI priority group.

The UK coronavirus dashboard includes vaccinations data for Scotland and the other constituent countries of the UK. 

First published: 25 Jan 2021 Last updated: 12 Mar 2021 -