Coronavirus (COVID-19): spring/summer COVID-19 vaccination programme - letter from Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care

A letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care to members of the Scottish Parliament.

Members of the Scottish Parliament

11 August 2022

Dear colleagues,

Spring/summer COVID-19 booster vaccination programme

Throughout the pandemic, I have provided regular updates to elected members on the progress of our vaccination programme to allow you to update your constituents.

As we near the end of summer, I am therefore writing to inform you of the status of the spring/summer COVID-19 booster programme and the progress made therein. Like previous rounds of Scotland’s vaccination programme, spring/summer boosters have enjoyed very high uptake among eligible cohorts, namely, adults aged 75 years and over, residents in a care home for older adults and individuals aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed.

The programme began on 7 March in care homes for older adults, with appointments for those aged 75 and following from 21 March. As of 8 August, we have provided fourth doses to 86% of older adult care home residents, 93% of those aged 75 and over, 72% of the severely immunosuppressed and 70% of the broader immunosuppressed cohort. This demonstrates very strong progress and provides an important layer of protection to the most vulnerable, which coincides with the UK currently experiencing a wave of infections due to Omicron variant strains.

Everyone who was eligible for a spring booster vaccination has now been offered an appointment. Scheduled appointments ran until the end of June, with some, including for those who have recently had the virus, continuing as required.

Additionally, the rolling offer of first and second primary doses and first booster doses is ongoing, and individuals continue to come forward. At time of writing, Scotland still has the highest overall uptake of first, second and third doses in the UK. As of 8 August, Scotland has vaccinated 92% of adults aged 18 and over with first primary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and 89% with second primary doses. Additionally, 79% of adults have now taken up the offer of a first booster dose. This represents 87.5% of the eligible population of those who had taken up the offer of a primary and second dose.

We also continue to make progress among children and young people. As of 8 August, 30% of children aged 5 to 11 have been vaccinated with a first dose under the universal offer to this age cohort, with the JCVI emphasising that the offer for this group is “non-urgent.” We have also provided 67% of all 12 to 15-year-olds with a first primary dose, and 49% with a second primary dose. Additionally, among 16 and 17-year-olds, 81% have received a first primary dose, 62% have received a second and 23% have received a first booster.

As you may be aware, the JCVI recently published its recommendations for this year’s autumn/winter booster programme. Detailed planning is underway to operationalise the Committee’s latest advice, and further detail on this will be shared in our forthcoming Deployment Plan, as well as in my statement to Parliament this September. We are working closely with Health Boards and other partners to start vaccinating in early September to ensure those most at risk at protected over winter, and I will provide another update to MSPs when Parliament returns.

I hope this information reassures you that, guided by clinical advice, we are continuing to plan for the future of the vaccination programme as the state of the pandemic evolves. I would be grateful if you could ensure that your constituents are informed of the information above. As a government, we stand ready to provide further advice where helpful.

Humza Yousaf


T: 0300 244 4000


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