Publication - Research and analysis

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

Published: 22 Feb 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.

45 page PDF

2.7 MB

45 page PDF

2.7 MB

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

45 page PDF

2.7 MB

Changing Behaviours

In Scotland, people were advised to stop shielding at the end of July 2020. However, the Shielding Division in Scottish Government has continued to provide support services, information and guidance.

Since July, while 34% have left their home on a daily basis, many people have chosen not to return to day-to-day activities. 20% have never visited shops, 33% have never met people outside of their household, and 84% have never been on public transport. This may be due to compliance with the guidance or personal choice. The guidance has changed multiple times since July and is different in local areas depending on current infection rates, so it’s not possible to differentiate.

We asked participants how often they had done the following activities since shielding ended in July 2020:

Left home for any reason

Chart showing responses to question asking how often people have left their home since shielding ended in July 2020.
Never 5%
Once or twice a month 19%
Once a week 14%
A couple of times a week 28%
Daily 34%
Not relevant to me 1%
Response count 4105

Visited shops

Chart showing responses to question asking how often people have visited shops since shielding ended in July 2020.
Never 20%
Once or twice a month 30%
Once a week 27%
A couple of times a week 19%
Daily 3%
Not relevant to me 1%
Response count 4049

Met people outside of your household or extended household

Chart showing responses to question asking how often people have met people outside of their household or extended household since shielding ended in July 2020.
Never 33%
Once or twice a month 37%
Once a week 15%
A couple of times a week 10%
Daily 6%
Not relevant to me 1%
Response count 4083

Been on public transport

Chart showing responses to question asking how often people have been on public transport since shielding ended in July 2020.
Never 84%
Once or twice a month 7%
Once a week 2%
A couple of times a week 2%
Daily 2%
Not relevant to me 4%
Response count 4105

Gone to work if you can’t work from home

Never 32%
Once or twice a month 2%
Once a week 1%
A couple of times a week 6%
Daily 19%
Not relevant to me 40%
Response count 4083

Gone to school, childcare or college

Chart showing responses to question asking how often people have gone to work if they can’t work from home since shielding ended in July 2020.
Never 48%
Once or twice a month 1%
Once a week 0%
A couple of times a week 1%
Daily 3%
Not relevant to me 47%
Response count 4049

Note that based on final demographic data only 2% of participants identified as being ‘in education’. We suspect that the majority of those who answered ‘Never’ should largely be in the ‘Not relevant to me’ column.

Vaccination

At the time of issuing the survey, the COVID-19 vaccinations had begun in Scotland. We wanted to understand how people who were at high risk from coronavirus felt about the vaccine.

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%)

Whether people plan to get vaccinated when it is offered to them

Yes 86%
I don’t know/haven’t decided yet 12%
No 3%
Response count 4143

Why respondents were unsure about getting the vaccine

Chart showing responses to question asking how often people have gone to school, college or childcare since shielding ended in July 2020.
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%
Another reason 22%
I am concerned with the ingredients used in it 19%
I don’t think the vaccine will be safe 14%
I don’t think the vaccine will be effective 10%
I don’t feel safe going into a healthcare setting to have the vaccine 10%
I feel I am protected enough by the precautions I’m already taking (e.g. washing my hands, distancing from others) 8%
I can’t be vaccinated for health reasons 7%
I don’t know 6%
I don’t trust the intentions behind wanting to vaccinate the public against coronavirus 5%
I don’t like needles/I’m frightened of needles 3%
It would be difficult to find the time/get an appointment for a vaccination 3%
I think I have already had coronavirus, so don’t need a vaccine 2%
I’m against vaccines in general 1%
No particular reason 1%
I don’t think coronavirus poses enough of a risk to me so I don’t need a vaccine 0%
Response count 474
Percentages do not add up to 100 as respondents could select multiple options

Why respondents did not want to get the vaccine

Chart showing the reasons given for why some respondents were unsure about getting the coronavirus vaccine.
I am worried about the side effects 51%
I wouldn’t be confident it had been tested on people with my health condition 43%
I can’t be vaccinated for health reasons 25%
I would like to wait until others have had it first 24%
I don’t think the vaccine will be safe 24%
I am concerned with the ingredients used in it 23%
Another reason 23%
I don’t think the vaccine will be effective 18%
I don’t trust the intentions behind wanting to vaccinate the public against coronavirus 18%
I don’t feel safe going into a healthcare setting to have the vaccine 10%
I feel I am protected enough by the precautions I’m already taking (e.g. washing my hands, distancing from others) 8%
I’m against vaccines in general 7%
I don’t think coronavirus poses enough of a risk to me so I don’t need a vaccine 3%
I don’t like needles/I’m frightened of needles 2%
It would be difficult to find the time/get an appointment for a vaccination 2%
I don’t know 1%
I think I have already had coronavirus, so don’t need a vaccine 0%
Response count 120
Percentages do not add up to 100 as respondents could select multiple options

Festive household bubbles

At the time of issuing the survey, guidance had just been released from the Scottish Government advising that people who were at high risk could form a festive household bubble between 23 to 27 December, including being able to meet indoors. Question: Is there any particular reason why you are unsure about getting the covid-19 vaccine?

When respondents were asked if they planned to or did form a household bubble during the festive period 58% said no. It is worth noting that in the run up to the Christmas break, the rules across Scotland changed. Festive bubbles were permitted for 1 day only (25 December), and the whole country went into Level 4 restrictions from 26 December, which is likely to have impacted on peoples plans.

Planning to form festive household bubbles

Yes 42%
No 58%
Response count 4138

Contact

Email: shielding.research@gov.scot