About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland provides an annual and quarterly update of immunisation uptake rates for children in Scotland. Immunisation programmes for children aim to protect the individual child from many serious infectious diseases and prevent the spread of disease in the wider population. Information is shown for NHS boards and local authorities, at 12 months, 24 months, 5 years and 6 years of age.

Main points                      

  • Annual uptake rates remained high in Scotland in 2021; the majority of the annual vaccine uptake rates at 12 months, 24 months, 5 years and 6 years throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic covering calendar years 2020 and 2021 were higher than the most recent pre-pandemic year of 2019.
  • Around 96.0% of children had received each routine immunisation by the time they were 12 months of age, apart from rotavirus vaccine, which had 94.2% uptake.
Image caption Primary immunisation uptake rates by 12 months of age, by calendar year for the period 2012 to 2021, Scotland
  • Most children received their booster vaccines by 24 months of age: Hib/MenC (94.4%), Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) (94.6%) and MenB (94.0%).
  • The first dose of MMR vaccine is offered between 12 and 13 months old and the second dose at 3 years 4 months old.
    • 94.4% of children had the first dose of MMR vaccine by 24 months of age. This rose to 96.1% for children who had reached age 5.
    • Uptake of the second dose of MMR vaccine by 5 years was 92.1%, rising to 93.2% by age 6 years.
  • Children from the more deprived areas were less likely to take up the vaccines than children in the less deprived areas.


As a public health measure, immunisations are very effective in reducing the burden of disease. The European Region of the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that on a national basis at least 95% of children are immunised against diseases preventable by immunisation and targeted for elimination or control. These include diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), measles, mumps and rubella.

Rotavirus vaccine should be given within strict age limits, with the first dose before 15 weeks and second dose before 24 weeks of age. These age limits mean that if a child is not immunised with the first dose early enough, due to missed appointments for example, then it may not be possible for them to complete the full 2 dose course before 24 weeks. This explains why uptake of the completed 2 dose course of rotavirus vaccine is slightly lower than completed courses of the other vaccines offered in the first year of life.

Information on uptake among pre-school children eligible for immunisation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is available on our COVID-19 wider impacts on the healthcare system dashboard and shows that uptake has remained high.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be 28 June 2022.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.childhealthstats@phs.scot.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 21 March 2024
Was this page helpful?