Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding survey report - January 2021

Publication of results from a survey conducted between December 2020 and January 2021 which explored areas such as: the impact of services and support provided by the Scottish Government's Shielding Division, thoughts on vaccination, and how pausing shielding in Scotland has impacted different aspects of life.

Key Findings

1. 86% of respondents planned to get the vaccine when it was offered to them.
Of the remaining responses, 11% of participants were undecided and 3% did not want the vaccine. The top three reasons people gave for being undecided about the vaccine were:

  • I am worried about the side effects (62%)
  • I wouldn’t be confident it had been tested on people with my health condition (52%)
  • I would like to wait until others have had it first (30%)

2. 55% of respondents returning to work didn't feel safe about this, despite a workplace risk assessment.

  • 29% of respondents had returned to their place of work since July 2020.
  • 66% of them had done a workplace risk assessment using the COVID-age calculator, but more than half (55%) still did not feel safe about returning to work after this assessment.
  • Elsewhere in the survey, we asked respondents whether there was anything they were currently struggling to access. Many responses were from people (especially key workers) highlighting their challenges with returning to work once shielding had paused, feeling unsafe and unsupported by their employers.

3. 96% of respondents were aware of the additional guidance for those at higher risk.
Direct communications were the most effective way for respondents to find out about the additional guidance. The majority had heard about it from:

  • A letter from the Chief Medical Officer (85%)
  • In a text from the Shielding text message alert service (74%)

88% of respondents found the additional guidance either very or quite clear.
66% of respondents follow the additional guidance completely.

4. 62% of respondents feel confident when deciding which activities are safe.
Respondents told us their trusted sources of information for deciding which activities are safe were:

  • Scottish Government (83%)
  • Public Health Scotland (56%)
  • Specialist healthcare professionals (34%)
  • Their GP (33%)



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