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).

Impact Monitoring and Mitigation

Have positive or negative impacts been identified for any of the equality groups?

The programme offers vaccination to adults over the age of 65, individuals who are immunosuppressed and some children in Scotland and may be of particular benefit to people who experience one or more protected characteristic. This will be positive for those who take up the offer but may be negative for those who decline. All possible efforts are being made to understand, address and mitigate the reasons for people not taking up a vaccine offer.

Is the policy directly or indirectly discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010?

The prioritisation of age groups for vaccination, according to JCVI guidance, is based on vaccinating older age groups first.

If the policy is indirectly discriminatory, how is it justified under the relevant legislation?

Older people are at greater risk of serious illness or mortality from contracting COVID-19 or Flu.

Those most at risk as a result of their age, have been vaccinated first.

If not justified, what mitigating action will be undertaken?

What might prevent the desired outcomes being achieved?

77. Achieving the desired short and long term aims of the policy is dependent on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 and flu vaccines that are produced and distributed to the people of Scotland. There are multiple dependencies which may prevent such an outcome. These are, but not limited to:

  • vaccine efficacy and/or immunogenicity in different age and risk groups;
  • the safety of administration in different age and risk cohorts;
  • the effect of the vaccine on acquisition of infection and transmission;
  • the transmission dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the UK population;
  • the epidemiological, microbiological, and clinical characteristics of COVID-19, in particular, emerging variants and the effect of the vaccine on these variants and any vaccine escape;
  • secure supply of effective vaccines, including the impact of challenges with development, manufacture and logistics which may be affected by geopolitical issues;
  • the storage, transportation and pack down of available COVID-19 and flu vaccines
  • the lack of single dose COVID-19 vials which would facilitate opportunistic vaccination for example in primary care and community pharmacy settings; and
  • inequitable access to and uptake of the vaccine across the Scottish population.


Email: ImmunisationPolicy@gov.scot

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