Published: 13 December 2016
Childhood Immunisation Statistics Scotland
Children in Scotland are protected through immunisation against many serious infectious diseases. Vaccination programmes aim both to protect the individual and to prevent the spread of these diseases within the wider population. As a public health measure, immunisations are very effective in reducing the burden of disease.
Immunisation uptake (sometimes referred to as coverage) refers to the proportion of the eligible population who have received the recommended doses of the relevant vaccines. Monitoring the proportion of the eligible population vaccinated is a key measure of the immunisation programme performance. It is of public health concern should immunisation rates decrease, as this makes the possibility of disease transmission more likely.
The UK Childhood Immunisation Schedule covers the recommended immunisations for children and young people (aged 0 to 18 years). The schedule comprises the recommended universal or routine immunisations which are offered to all children and young people, as well as selective immunisations which are targeted to children at higher risk from certain diseases. Further information about the current immunisation programmes in Scotland, the vaccines available, and the diseases they protect against, can be found via the Immunisation Scotland website www.immunisationscotland.org.uk.
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, Hib, measles, mumps and rubella. In Scotland a target of 95% uptake of one dose of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine by five years of age (with a supplementary measure at 24 months) was introduced in 2006 to focus efforts on reducing the number of susceptible children entering primary school.
The following information on immunisation uptake rates for children and young people is available:
This provides information on uptake of routine immunisations for children in Scotland up to six years of age, excluding flu vaccine which is published by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) in HPS National Influenza Reports. An annual report, covering calendar year uptake rates, is published in March each year. In addition, tables presenting uptake rates are published quarterly.
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is designed to protect against the two types of HPV that cause around 75% of cases of cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine does not protect against all cervical cancers, so regular cervical screening is still important. The immunisation programme aims to help protect girls against developing cervical cancer later in life by routinely immunising them in early secondary school, at around 11 to 13 years of age.
Uptake rates of teenage booster immunisations, which are offered at around 14 years of age.