About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland provides an annual update on teenage booster immunisation uptake rates for pupils in their third and fourth years of secondary school (S3 and S4).

There are two teenage booster immunisations: the Td/IPV booster which completes the course of childhood vaccines providing protection against tetanus, diphtheria and polio; and the MenACWY immunisation which protects against meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning) caused by four strains of meningococcal bacteria – groups A, C, W and Y.

These statistics are affected by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak as some NHS Boards had not completed their planned immunisation sessions when schools closed in March 2020. S3 uptake rates are based on the sub-set of pupils who were offered the vaccines in school year 2019/20. S4 uptake rates are based on all pupils; most S4 pupils would have been immunised when they were first offered the vaccines in S3 in the previous school year (2018/19).

Main points

  • By the end of S4, over 86% of all S4 pupils in Scotland had received the teenage booster immunisations (Td/IPV 86.7%, MenACWY 86.8%).
  • Pupils in more deprived areas were much less likely to receive the Td/IPV and MenACWY vaccines. By the end of S4, 80.9% of pupils from the most deprived areas were immunised, compared with 92.9% from the least deprived areas (Td/IPV vaccine).
Image caption Td/IPV immunisation uptake rates by the end of the school year 2019 to 2020 by deprivation; Pupils in S4 in Scotland
A bar chart displaying uptake rates of the Td/IPV immunisation among pupils in S4, by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) quintile. Rates are displayed for quintile 1 (most deprived) to quintile 5 (least deprived). The rates are discussed in the accompanying text.
  • Among S3 pupils who were offered the vaccines in 2019/20, uptake of Td/IPV vaccine was 79.6% (81.9% in 2018/19), and MenACWY vaccine uptake was 79.8% (82.1% in 2018/19).


Vaccination programmes aim to protect the individual from many serious infectious diseases and to prevent their spread within the wider population.

In Scotland teenage booster immunisations are routinely offered to pupils in S3 at around 14 years of age. Pupils not immunised in S3 are re-offered the vaccine(s) in S4.

The timing of the teenage booster immunisation sessions during the school year varies slightly between NHS Boards. This meant when schools in Scotland closed from 20 March 2020, some NHS Boards had completed their planned teenage booster immunisation sessions in schools, while some had started holding sessions shortly before the school closures. It is estimated the 2019/20 teenage booster immunisation programme in Scotland was over 80% complete, with nine out of the fourteen NHS Boards completing their immunisation sessions by the end of the school year.

Some pupils from the 2019/20 eligible cohorts who were not immunised in the period reported, may have since been immunised, with the remainder expected to be offered the vaccines during a catch-up planned in school year 2020/21. Updated uptake rates for pupils will be published in the next annual report.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be in November 2021.

General enquiries

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

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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: 28 June 2021
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