Scotland becomes first UK nation to give extra vaccine dose to half of over-50s

·2-min read
(Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)
(Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Scotland has become the first UK nation to give an extra dose of Covid-19 vaccine to more than half of people aged 50 and over, figures show.

A total of 1,103,276 booster and third doses had been given to over-50s in Scotland by November 16.

This is the equivalent of 50.1% of the age group, according to data published by Public Health Scotland.

Not all people aged 50 or over will yet be eligible for an extra jab, as booster doses cannot be delivered until six months after a second dose, while third doses can only be given eight weeks later.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

But the figures reflect the pace at which vaccines have been rolled out in Scotland in the two months since the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended a booster programme for over-50s.

The figure of 50.1% is up from 41.6% a week earlier and 31.3% at the start of November.

England is likely to be the next nation to pass the 50% milestone.

A total of 9,802,898 booster and third doses had been delivered to people aged 50 and over by November 16, according to NHS England.

This is the equivalent of 46.0% of this age group, including people who are not yet eligible for an extra jab.

In Wales 546,392 extra doses have been given to over-50s, figures from Public Health Wales show – 41.9% of the age group.

The proportion for Northern Ireland is 27.2%, with 186,597 extra doses delivered to people aged 50 and over, according to the Northern Ireland Department of Health.

(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)

Overall, 13,494,890 booster and third doses of vaccine have been delivered across the UK – the equivalent of 23.5% of people aged 12 and over, or 20.1% of the entire population.

The JCVI recommended this week that booster doses be made available to all people aged 40 and over, which will increase the proportion of the population able to get an extra dose of vaccine once they are eligible.

Other groups currently able to receive a booster – six months after a second dose – include frontline health and social care workers, along with adults aged 16 and over with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe coronavirus.

Third doses are available eight weeks after a second dose to people aged 12 and over with severely weakened immune systems.

All percentages are based on the latest official population estimates for the four nations of the UK, which are for mid-2020 and are used by the Government and the UK health agencies for reporting levels of vaccine take-up.

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