About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides an annual update on human papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation coverage rates. Coverage rates are reported for males and females in their first, second, third and fourth years of secondary school (S1, S2, S3 and S4) in 2022/23.

Main points

  • Coverage of one dose of HPV vaccine for S1 pupils decreased in 2022/23, with overall coverage rates of 72.9%, compared with 73.5% in 2021/22. There remains a disparity between males and females; female coverage in 2022/23 was 76.3%, while male coverage was 69.7%, a difference of 6.6%.
Image caption Trend in coverage of HPV immunisation (single dose) by the end of school years 2014/15 to 2022/23 in Scotland
A line chart showing the trend in HPV immunisation coverage rates from 2014/15 - 2022/23, for S1 pupils, split by sex. For further details see the accompanying text.
  • By the end of S2, 82.9% of females and 76.2% of males had received a single dose of HPV vaccine. This was an additional 5.4% for females and 6.6% for males on those who had received a dose by the end of S1 last year.
  • Coverage of the completed one-dose course of HPV increased between S3 in 2021/22 and S4 in 2022/23. In Scotland, 87.2% of S3 pupils in 2021/22 had received a single dose, rising to 87.9% in S4 (2022/23), a difference of 0.7%.
  • By the end of S4 in each of the deprivation categories, pupils from the most deprived areas were less likely to receive the HPV vaccine compared with pupils from the least deprived areas (83.5% vs. 92.7%), a difference of 9.2%.


The school-based HPV immunisation programme aims to help protect everyone from developing HPV-related cancers (including cervical, anogenital and head and neck) later in life. The most common HPV-related cancer is cervical cancer.

In August 2022, the JCVI issued a statement on GOV.UK recommending a change from a two-dose to a one-dose schedule for the routine adolescent HPV programme citing sufficient level of protection with a single dose. In Scotland this was implemented from 1 January 2023, with a change from the two-dose to a one-dose schedule for all those eligible up to 25 years of age.

The routine eligible cohorts for 2022/23 were S1 males and females. Some pupils from the 2022/23 eligible cohorts who were not immunised in the period reported, may have since been immunised, with the remainder expected to be offered the vaccine during school year 2023/24.

Further information for the HPV immunisation can be found online at NHS Inform: HPV.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be November 2024.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please contact Neil Perkins at phs.childhealthstats@phs.scot.

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

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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
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