Question ref. S6W-02094
Asked by: Sue Webber, Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 6 August 2021
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking, in addition to initiatives such as mobile vaccine buses and vaccinations at football stadiums and shopping centres, to encourage and incentivise younger people to get the COVID-19 vaccine, in light of reports that vaccine rollout statistics show a lower take-up rate amongst younger people.
Current status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 25 August 2021
The vaccination programme uptake in Scotland is highly successful overall with around 90% of the adult population (18+) having received their first dose - far beyond our planning assumption of 80% - and so far 73% have received their second dose.
To ensure good uptake amongst younger age groups the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland are undertaking a wide range of initiatives.
Drop in clinics are widely available for people who want a first vaccination or are 8 weeks or more from their second vaccination – regardless if they have an appointment in the system. Drop-in mobile centres are attending a range of sites such as football grounds, parks, workplaces and shopping centres.
Young people within the eligible Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) age cohorts will still also receive a scheduled invitation which they may attend if the time and date suits. A dedicated self-registration portal allows SMS notification to take account of the greater turnover of registered addresses amongst young people.
We continue to engage with young people in a variety of ways, including through social media outlets, to make sure they have access to the correct information on vaccines. To this end the Scottish Government has developed a comprehensive set of public information campaigns across TV, radio, print and online to disseminate quality information on vaccines and positive encouragement to take up vaccination invitations.
We are presently strengthening communications targeting the 18-29 age group, such as the Roll Up Your Sleeves campaign, to ensure we vaccinate as many people in this cohort as possible.
All NHS Boards have dedicated inclusion plans within the vaccination programme, outlining how they will actively offer vaccination to people who may face barriers in taking up the vaccine. Some examples of outreach include offering vaccinations in places of worship, in other community settings, providing concessionary bus travel to appointments and working with community leaders to promote uptake.
We are continuing to discuss a range of measures with universities and colleges to help ensure students get vaccinated as soon as possible before arriving on campus. We remain in regular dialogue with Universities Scotland and Colleges Scotland and have agreed with Health Boards and Higher and Further Education Institutions to appoint Single Points of Contacts in universities and colleges. Additionally, we are engaging with the Health Boards to support vaccine delivery for both international and home based students where there is local need, including the possibility of on-campus pop-up clinics.