About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides a quarterly update of immunisation uptake rates for children in Scotland. Immunisation programmes for children aim to protect the individual child from many serious infectious diseases and prevent the spread of disease in the wider population. Advice on why and when to immunise in Scotland is available via NHS inform. Information is shown for NHS Boards and local authorities, at 12 months, 24 months, 5 years and 6 years of age.

Main points

  • Quarterly uptake rates have shown gradual declines in Scotland over the past 10 years across all routine immunisations. Throughout this period uptake has remained high, and for this quarter around 95% of children received each routine immunisation by the time they were 12 months old, except for rotavirus vaccine, which had 92.8% uptake.
Image caption Trend in primary immunisation uptake rates by 12 months of age*, by quarter

*Children turning 12 months of age in the relevant quarter e.g. for Jan-Mar 23 this would be children born during Jan-Mar 22

  • Most children received their booster vaccines by 24 months of age: Hib/MenC (93.7%), Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) (93.4%) and MenB (93.0%).
  • The first dose of MMR vaccine is offered between 12 and 13 months old and the second dose at 3 years 4 months old.
    • 93.4% of children had the first dose of MMR vaccine by 24 months of age. This rose to 95.4% for children who had reached age 5.
    • Uptake of the second dose of MMR vaccine by 5 years was 89.8%, rising to 91.4% by age 6 years.
  • The 4-in-1 vaccine provides the booster dose (4th dose) of protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio. 90.3% of children had the 4-in-1 booster at age 5 years, rising to 92.1% by age 6 years.

Background

As a public health measure, immunisations are very effective in reducing the burden of disease. The European Region of the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that on a national basis at least 95% of children are immunised against diseases preventable by immunisation and targeted for elimination or control. These include diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), measles, mumps and rubella.

Rotavirus vaccine should be given within strict age limits, with the first dose before 15 weeks and second dose before 24 weeks of age. These age limits mean that if a child is not immunised with the first dose early enough, due to missed appointments for example, then it may not be possible for them to complete the full 2 dose course before 24 weeks. This explains why uptake of the completed 2 dose course of rotavirus vaccine is slightly lower than completed courses of the other vaccines offered in the first year of life.

Information on uptake among pre-school children eligible for immunisation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is available on our COVID-19 wider impacts on the healthcare system dashboard and shows that uptake has remained high.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be September 2023.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.childhealthstats@phs.scot.

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If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

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Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 20 November 2023
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