Flu and COVID-19 vaccination programme 2023-2024: equality impact assessment

Findings from an equality impact assessment of the 2023-to 2024 Flu and COVID-19 Vaccination Programme (FVCV).

Scope of the programme

29. The scope of the FVCV programme has changed for 2023-24. At the height of the pandemic, we had a large number of venues across Scotland, as we attempted to vaccinate the entire population. As we move to pandemic recovery, and end the rolling primary offer, the programme is markedly smaller, with only those at higher risk being offered vaccination. This reduction means that we do not need the same number of venues. There are still over 400 clinics across Scotland and a range of vaccination sites available in each Health Board, so if the location an individual has been given is not suitable, they are able to rearrange via the online booking portal available at NHS Inform or by calling the National Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013. People also have the flexibility to book into any clinic across Scotland for convenience, for instance if they are away from home for any period of time, or prefer a clinic closer to their place of work.

30. It should also be noted that with the reduction in size of the programme, there are also less spare appointments in the system, so people may have to wait slightly longer to receive vaccination, as they would do for other immunisations. Health Boards began to offer drop-in clinics during the winter 2023-24 programme and these were promoted through a range of communications.

National engagement on inclusion and equality

31. The Vaccine Inclusive Steering Group was set up during the pandemic and brings together a range of partners under the remit of ensuring inclusion is embedded within all vaccination programmes. Its purpose is to provide feedback, challenge, ideas and to advise on planning, communications and delivery of the programme. Membership ranges from delivery partners, such as Health Boards, to third sector and community groups representing the communities we are trying to reach. The steering group provides opportunity to seek advice and feedback from groups who experience inequalities or barriers to vaccination.

32. The Inclusion and Equality Improvement Group is co-chaired by Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland, with the aim of ensuring equality of access to the Flu and COVID-19 vaccine programme for marginalised groups. It provides a forum for delivery partners to discuss challenges and opportunities with regards to inclusion activity, and share best practice among boards. The remit of the group has also been expanded to cover inclusion across all vaccination programmes.


Email: ImmunisationPolicy@gov.scot

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