Findings from a paper published today in Eurosurveillance estimate that 27,656 deaths have been directly averted as a result of Scotland’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The World Health Organisation led paper, supported by Public Health Scotland, documents the estimated number of lives saved in people aged 60 years and over from COVID-19 vaccination programmes in 33 countries from December 2020 to November 2021.

By using weekly numbers of observed deaths and vaccination coverage, the study estimates that a total of 469,186 (51% of expected) deaths in 33 countries have been averted as a result of vaccination.

In Scotland, an estimated 86% of deaths have been averted.

Discussing the study, co-author Dr Jim McMenamin, Head of Health Protection Infection Services at Public Health Scotland, said: “This important study shows that thanks to high vaccine uptake among the people of Scotland, and early implementation, the COVID-19 vaccination programme is estimated to have saved more than 27 thousand lives in Scotland.

“Our thanks to everybody who has come forward to receive their vaccination to date. I am also grateful to colleagues up and down the country who have worked tirelessly to support the speedy rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines.”

Adding his own reflections, Dr Nicholas Phin, Director of Public Health Science at Public Health Scotland, said: “We know that the COVID-19 vaccine remains the most effective way to protect ourselves. This latest study shows just what an impact the COVID-19 vaccination programme has had in Scotland. 

“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.”


Read the full paper on the Eurosurveillance website [external website]. 

Last updated: 23 February 2022