Coronavirus (COVID-19) Highest Risk (formerly Shielding) List end: equality and fairer Scotland impact assessment

This presents an assessment of any differential impact on each of the protected characteristics of the decision to end Scotland’s Covid Highest Risk List, formerly the Shielding List and considers any possible inequality of outcomes of the policy due to socio-economic differences.

7. Preventative measures

7.1 With regard to addressing the concerns of people on the HRL with one or more of the protected characteristics and/or from disadvantaged socio-economic groups about their clinical risk, we are taking forward a range of measures to limit the spread and impact of Covid.

7.2 Key to this is the vaccination programme. We know that vaccination uptake is high; over 77% of everyone over 18 years of age have now received their 3rd dose or booster[67]. As the number of people who have been vaccinated rises, the population overall benefits from greater protection against the serious effects of the virus, including those on the Highest Risk List. Approximately 96% of highest risk individuals have now received two doses of the vaccine, and around 91% have received a third dose or booster[68].

7.3 However, we recognise that uptake could be improved further to address the concerns of those on the HRL with regard to the associated with the removal of the list. The CMO has consistently and strongly advised everyone on the HRL, including through his regular letters, to take up vaccines offered and prioritised. There are very few people who may not be suitable for getting COVID vaccinations, the main reason being those who are allergic to the ingredients, and anyone who is unsure has been advised to consult with their clinician.

7.4 In addition, a spring booster dose has been announced and will be offered at least 24 weeks after the last vaccine dose to:

  • adults aged 75 years and over
  • residents in care homes for older adults
  • individuals aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed

7.5 Support with transport to vaccinations has also been a consistent offer to people on the HRL since February 2021.

7.6 The Scottish Government has also worked with a range of national and local community, third sector and faith organisations supporting minority ethnic communities to ensure positive messaging about the vaccine is promoted. This includes providing over £80,000 of funding to organisations that are influential within communities to support vaccine uptake within minority ethnic groups.

7.7 A National Inclusive Vaccine Steering Group was also established so that information and learning could be shared and solutions to issues co-produced with those who know their communities best. Key vaccination information is available on NHS Inform in multiple languages accessible formats such as audio, easy read and BSL[69]. To reach out to minority ethnic and people of different race, and advance equality of opportunity, various tailored and translated Q&A sessions have been hosted by partners with clinicians on Jambo! radio, Awaz FM and Facebook Live. An explainer video[70] for minority ethnic communities



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