The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Requirements) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2022 and The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Requirements) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2022: equality impact assessment

This equality impact assessment (EQIA) is to analyse the potential impacts for each protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 of amending the definition of fully vaccinated to include the requirement for a booster if a primary course of MHRA vaccine was over 120 days ago and amend the definition of late night venue.


While no vaccine is 100% effective at preventing infection, disease and transmission, and they do not completely break the link between a high volume of positive cases and serious pressure on healthcare services, they are our best route out of the pandemic. Vaccines help prevent transmission of the virus as vaccinated people are less likely to become infected and ill than unvaccinated people (and only infected people can transmit the virus). The UK Vaccine Effectiveness Expert Panel (VEEP) is a group of scientific and analytical specialists from academia and government in the UK who provide a consensus view on vaccine effectiveness, split by variant, vaccine and dose. They have published estimates for vaccine effectiveness based on an assessment of the evidence at the time of writing and as new evidence or data emerges, SAGE will update its advice. The most recent Vaccine effectiveness summary was published on 24th September 2021.

Vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease with the Omicron variant is lower compared to the Delta variant and wanes rapidly. However, boosting returns it to a comparable level[25]. Vaccine effectiveness 2 to 4 weeks after a booster dose ranged from around 65 to 75% for Omicron compared to >90% for Delta. Vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease drops to 55 to 70% at 5 to 9 weeks after a booster and a further drop to 40 to 50% from 10+ weeks after the booster for Omicron, whereas vaccine effectiveness for Delta remains over 80% at 10 weeks[26] [27].

Protection against hospitalisation from vaccination is much greater than that against symptomatic disease, in particular after a booster dose[28]. Vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisations 4 weeks after dose 1 is at 58%, between 2-24 weeks after dose 2 at 64% and for 25+ weeks after dose 2 at 44%. Data released by UKHSA suggest that 2 to 4 weeks after a booster, vaccine effectiveness increases to 92%, after 5-9 weeks drops to 88% and that at 10+ weeks after booster, vaccine effective against hospitalisation remains at 83%[29]

Early data considered by SAGE suggest that the probability of needing admission to ICU is very much higher in the unvaccinated population for the Omicron variant[30]. There is currently insufficient data to make an assessment of vaccine effectiveness against severe disease for Omicron compared to Delta[31]. However, though waning has been seen in vaccine effectiveness, it is thought that vaccine effectiveness against severe disease is more likely to be sustained, especially after a booster dose [en] . More analysis can be found in a number of large studies including EAVE-II (Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of Covid-19) in Scotland[32], Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-1) in England[33] and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Covid-19 Infection Survey ONS study.[34] Therefore, we have strong evidence that vaccines are effective at preventing disease, hospitalisations and deaths.

As of 18 January 2022, 85.5% of the eligible population (12+) received two doses of the vaccine and 67.2% (12+) received a booster or third dose. In the week 1 to 7 January 14.2% of positive cases were in unvaccinated individuals. In the week 1 - 7 January in an age-standardised population, individuals were 4 times more likely to be in hospital with COVID-19 if they were unvaccinated compared to individuals that had received a booster or third dose of vaccine[35].

Vaccine uptake has progressed extremely well in the Scottish adult population with approximately 80.5% of 18 to 29 year olds and 81.8% of 16 to 17 year olds having received the first dose of the vaccine as of 18 January. At least 95% of people aged 50 and over have received two doses, but uptake of a second dose remains lower in people in their 30s (79.8%) and the 18-29 age group (72.2%) as of 18 January. Vaccine uptake has slightly increased since the scheme was announced, although it is not possible to directly attribute rises to the introduction of the Covid Status Certification. The proportion of those aged 12+ with a first dose rose to 91.8%, second dose rose to 85.5%, and a third dose or booster rose to 67.2% up to 18 January 2022[36].



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