1. Our Autumn-Winter Vaccination Strategy
As part of our commitment to transparency we have published three COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Plans - in January, March and July - setting out how we would work as fast as possible to vaccinate all adults over 18 and some 12 to 17 year olds in Scotland. This Autumn-Winter Vaccination Strategy builds on these previous Plans and draws on high-level objectives set out in our COVID-19 Strategic Framework Update published in June 2021.
The Vaccination Strategy focuses on our progress to date, noting that we met the significant milestone of offering all over 18s their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in September. We have also included examples of good practice and learning which are being used to inform the next stages of the programme. The Strategy also sets out our plans for administering COVID-19 third primary doses and COVID-19 boosters for those eligible, and how the programme fits in with our wider vaccination services in Scotland including the seasonal flu programme.
Our vaccination programmes are designed to meet local and individual needs whilst maintaining a consistent approach, where appropriate, across the four UK nations. We have purposefully adopted a Human Rights based approach and are committed to delivering a quality and inclusive programme that is: person-centred; safe; efficient; effective; equitable; timely; and local.
We have continuously adapted our COVID-19 vaccination programme to respond to local and individual needs, and our approach has been informed by advice from the JCVI and our Chief Medical Officer. We have expanded our eligibility criteria for under 18s and updated our policies on COVID-19 third doses (for Severely Immunosuppressed individuals) and COVID-19 boosters. We have also flexed our delivery approaches in light of increasing cases of the Delta variant. We have sought to co-administer COVID-19 and flu vaccinations where possible, following advice from the JCVI on 14 September 2021 that a booster vaccine be offered to those more at risk from serious disease, and who were vaccinated during phase 1 of the vaccination programme (cohorts 1-9). Moreover, we have expanded our outreach work and clarified our vaccination policies in order to promote inclusion and ensure people do not experience barriers to accessing vaccines. We are also working to deliver improved digital solutions and pathways for the people of Scotland.
The Vaccination Strategy aims to capture the progress made and the learning from this pivotal programme. As we shift our focus to the future, we are well placed to combine the benefits of a highly effective vaccination system pre-pandemic with the more recent learning through mass vaccination during the pandemic, to form firm foundations for a sustainable world-class vaccination service in Scotland.