Auditors praise Scotland’s Covid vaccination progress

People across the country have been urged to get their Covid vaccination.

Auditors praise Scotland’s Covid vaccination progress iStock

Auditors have praised the progress of Scotland’s coronavirus vaccination programme – but said uptake has been lower among certain groups.

By September 17, more than 90% of over-18s had received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccination, a report from Audit Scotland said.

However, those from the most deprived areas and certain ethnic minority backgrounds have had lower levels of uptake, a trend which has been seen elsewhere in the UK.

Uptake was also lower among younger age groups.

For 18 to 29-year-olds, uptake was at 76%, while the figure stood at 100% for those over 60.

The report noted the government and the NHS were working to tailor vaccine messaging for groups where uptake has been low.

Auditor general Stephen Boyle said: “The delivery of the vaccination programme has been a success so far, with good collaboration and new digital tools developed to help the process.

“Early scenario planning by the Scottish Government and NHS boards has allowed them to continue to react quickly to formal UK clinical advice.

“There is now an opportunity for the Scottish Government to use what it’s learned to manage the challenges of the next part of the vaccine programme, and the wider delivery of NHS services.”

Responding to the report, Scottish Conservative health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane said: “The vaccination scheme has been an incredible success across Scotland and the United Kingdom. However, there can be no room for complacency from the SNP.

“It is clear that many aspects of their vaccination strategy are not working right now.

“They are failing to reach young people and many people in our BAME and deprived communities.

“SNP ministers must urgently rethink their approach to ensure uptake is as high as possible.

“They should be exploring advertising on platforms such as YouTube and Instagram. That is where young people will access this vital information.”

Health secretary Humza Yousaf said: “I welcome the latest Audit Scotland report recognising the excellent progress, strong partnership working and planning which has helped us deliver a successful programme.

“I would like to thank all those involved in the delivery of the roll-out. It is testament to their hard work and dedication that more than eight million Covid-19 vaccinations – both first and second doses – have now been administered in Scotland.

“We have taken into account what we have learned so far in drawing up our plans for the next stages of Scotland’s largest ever vaccination programme and look forward to its continued success.”

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