About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland 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.

Information is shown by NHS Board and local authority, at 12 months, 24 months, five years and six years of age.

Information on uptake among children eligible for immunisation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is available on our COVID-19 wider impacts on the healthcare system dashboard (external website).

Main points

  • Uptake rates remained high in Scotland; over 96% of children had received each routine immunisation by the time they were 12 months old, apart from the rotavirus vaccine, which had 94.1% uptake.
Image caption Primary immunisation uptake rates by 12 months old, by quarter
Chart showing uptake of the routine vaccines given at 12 months  old, by quarter, from quarter ending December 2016 to quarter ending September 2020. Uptake of all routine immunisations has remained high over time (above 95%), with the exception of rotavirus, which must be given within a very short time window and has slightly lower uptake compared with the other routine vaccines.
  • The vast majority of children received their booster vaccines by 24 months of age; Hib/MenC (95.5%), Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) (95.5%) and MenB (95.0%).
  • The first dose of MMR vaccine is offered between 12 and 13 months old and the second dose at 3 years 4 months old. Although normally given at these times, it can be given at any age if missed.
    • 95.1% of children had the first dose of MMR vaccine by 24 months of age. This rose to 96.8% for children who reached age five.
    • Uptake of the second dose of MMR vaccine by five years was 92.3%, rising to 93.7% by age six years.


As a public health measure, immunisations are very effective in reducing the burden of disease. The European Region of the World Health Organization (WHO) (external website) 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 helps to protect young children from infection that causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting. This 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 two dose course before 24 weeks. This explains why uptake of the completed two dose course of rotavirus vaccine is slightly lower than completed courses of the other vaccines offered in the first year of life.

Further information

We also available background metadata and information on our pre-release access.

Our annual report on childhood immunisation uptake rates in Scotland was published in March 2020. This report provides comprehensive commentary on immunisation including an outline of the UK childhood immunisation schedule, statistics by calendar year and an explanation of trends in uptake rates.

For more information on immunisations see the immunisation section of our website (external website). For related topics, please see the child health (external website) pages.

The next release of this publication will be in December 2020.

General enquiries

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

Media enquiries

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

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

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To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

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: 28 June 2021
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