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Immunisation results high as government warns children must continue to be vaccinated

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Immunisation results high as government warns children must continue to be vaccinated

Ninety-six per cent of children in Scotland will have received all routine immunisations by the time they are 12 months old, new national statistics reveal, as the government warns children must continue to be vaccinated during the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, the data showed children in more deprived areas were less likely to take up the vaccines than those in less deprived locations.

Scotland’s childhood immunisation statistics for the year ending 31 December 2019 showed uptake rates remained high last year, increasing by 0.2 per cent to 96.1 per cent for the 6-in-1 primary course uptake by 12 months old.

The uptake was lower for the rotavirus vaccine, at 93.2 per cent. Rotavirus vaccines can only be given in a short time frame – the first dose before 15 weeks and second before 34 weeks.

The rate of uptake by 24 months dropped by 0.4 per cent in the 6-in-1 primary course, and the uptake for the 4-in-1 booster by the age of six fell by 0.5 per cent.

For the routine immunisations before 12 months old, children in the most deprived areas had a 94.5 per cent uptake rate, whereas those in the least deprived areas had an update of 97.7 per cent, which was a 3.2 per cent difference in uptake.

This disparity was higher in vaccines needed before 24 months old, with most deprived areas recording a 91.6 per cent uptake and the least deprived a 96.1 per cent update – a difference of 4.5 per cent.

“Children in the more deprived areas are more likely to be vaccinated later than children in less deprived areas,” the report said.

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said that all children should continue to be vaccinated throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

“I am pleased to see that childhood immunisation rates across Scotland remain very high, reflecting both the hard work and commitment of our colleagues in the NHS and a recognition among parents and carers of the benefits of vaccination,” he said.

“I want to remind all parents and carers of the importance of getting their children vaccinated throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“Your GP or health board will still be available to do this and it is advised that you keep these appointments.”

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