About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland provides an annual update on teenage booster immunisation coverage 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 pandemic; this was the second consecutive year when the teenage booster immunisation programme in Scotland was not fully completed during the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated school closures. The statistics reported here reflect immunisation coverage at the end of the school year, defined as 31 July 2021. NHS Boards are running catch-up programmes for any pupils not offered the vaccine during 2020/21, and coverage rates are expected to increase.

Main points

  • Among S3 pupils who were eligible for the vaccines in 2020/21, coverage of Td/IPV vaccine was 39.8% (71.4% in 2019/20), and MenACWY vaccine coverage was 39.6% (71.6% in 2019/20). The equivalent figures in 2018/19 were 81.9% (Td/IPV) and 82.1% (MenACWY).
  • By the end of S4, over 80% of all S4 pupils in Scotland had received the teenage booster immunisations (Td/IPV 80.3%, MenACWY 80.4%). This compares to over 86% in both 2019/20 and 2018/19 respectively (Td/IPV 86.7%, 86.3%; MenACWY 86.8%, 86.6%).
Image caption Trend in Td/IPV and MenACWY immunisation coverage rates by the end of the school years 2016/17 to 2020/21 in Scotland
Line chart showing the trend in coverage of the Td/IPV immunisations from 2016/17 to 2020/21 among pupils in S3 and S4 in Scotland. The trend is described in the accompanying text.

Line chart showing the trend in coverage of the MenACWY immunisations from 2016/17 to 2020/21 among pupils in S3 and S4 in Scotland. The trend is described in the accompanying text.
  • Pupils in more deprived areas were less likely to receive the Td/IPV and MenACWY vaccines. By the end of S4, 70.6% and 70.7% of pupils from the most deprived areas were immunised, compared with 89.2% and 89.3% from the least deprived areas (Td/IPV vaccine and MenACWY vaccines respectively).

Background

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. Pupils not fully immunised as part of the routine cohort can also be offered the teenage booster immunisations in S5 and S6.

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 January 2021, these planned teenage booster immunisation sessions in schools for 2020/21 may not have started, and not all of the NHS Boards in Scotland had completed their teenage booster immunisation programme for 2020/21 by the end of the school year.

Some pupils from the 2020/21 eligible cohorts (S3 and S4) who were not immunised in the reporting period, may have since been immunised, with the remainder expected to be offered the vaccines during a catch-up planned in school year 2021/22. Updated figures for pupils will be published in the next annual report.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be in November 2022.

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: 13 June 2022
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