Covid Scotland: Drop in vaccine hesitancy in most areas of Scotland

Most areas of Scotland have seen a drop in Covid vaccine hesitancy since March, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The statistics come as drop-in vaccination centres are set to welcome 16 and 17-year-olds from Tuesday, with some health boards already facilitating the move.

Vaccine hesitancy across Scotland has fallen from 4 per cent in March to 3 per cent as of July 18.

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This includes people who responded to a survey from the ONS saying they had declined the offer of a vaccine or would be likely to decline it if offered.

Anna Garside, 28. receives her second coronavirus vaccination at the a vaccination centre in Birmingham. Picture date: Saturday August 7, 2021.

New figures released by the Scottish Government under a Freedom of Information request also show almost a third of vaccine appointments scheduled in May were not attended.

Of the 1,078,389 appointments made, just 879,350 people turned up.

However, more than 360,000 vaccines were given on a drop-in basis, meaning these accounted for more than 40 per cent of vaccines given.

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Vaccine hesitancy was highest in the Highlands and Islands in March, at 8 per cent, but most recent figures do not include a large enough sample size in this area for a comparison to be made.

The figure has fallen in West Central Scotland, which includes Glasgow, from 7 per cent in January to March to 5 per cent in April to July.

Vaccine hesitancy is lowest in Southern Scotland, where it has fallen from 4 per cent to just 2 per cent.

The most recent figures show that Scotland has a slightly lower rate of vaccine hesitancy than the UK as a whole, where it is 4 per cent.

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The figure is higher in Wales and the West Midlands, at 5 per cent.

It is highest in London, at 7 per cent.

Hesitancy is higher in younger people. Among 16 and 17-year-olds, who are now able to get a vaccine, it has dropped slightly since March from 14 per cent to 11 per cent.

In the English regions, London and the West Midlands recorded high rates of hesitancy among adults living in deprived areas – both at 12 per cent.

The ONS said it could not provide hesitancy rates by deprivation for Scotland due to the small sample sizes.

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