Vaccine programme has saved close to 28,000 lives in Scotland, WHO estimates
Close to 28,000 deaths were averted in Scotland as a direct result of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, according to a research paper from the World Health Organization.
The paper, which was supported by Public Health Scotland and published in medical journal Eurosurveillance, estimated that 86 per cent of expected deaths among people aged 60 and over – the equivalent of 27,656 since November last year – were avoided thanks to so many people receiving a vaccination.
Dr Nicholas Phin, director of public health science at Public Health Scotland, said the study provided further evidence that vaccination “remains the most effective way to protect ourselves” and urged people to get a booster as soon as they are eligible.
“This latest study shows just what an impact the Covid-19 vaccination programme has had in Scotland,” he said.
“When it’s your time to receive a third or booster dose of the vaccine, please do take the opportunity to bolster your protection against Covid-19 at the earliest opportunity.
“If you have not had any doses of a Covid-19 vaccine yet, you can protect yourself and others by registering online or finding your nearest vaccination centre via the NHS Inform website.”
Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith said the fact so many lives had been saved is "a testament to every individual who has taken up their offer of a vaccine", but added that further measures still need to remain in place.
“While vaccination is the bedrock of our fight against Covid-19, we encourage everyone to follow protections such as regular testing, particularly before socialising and meeting up with others from outside your household, wearing face marks where required and opening windows to improve ventilation,” he said.
Health secretary Humza Yousaf said the vaccination programme had been an "overwhelming success", though he noted that not all deaths had been avoided.
“We must not lose sight of the fact every death from Covid-19 is a tragedy and my sympathies are with all the people who have lost loved ones to this virus,” he said.