Covid Scotland: 500,000 vaccine appointments missed since February

Almost 500,000 Covid vaccine appointments have been missed since February, new figures from Public Health Scotland (PHS) show.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 3:44 pm

Some 446,366 first dose appointments have not been attended, along with 38,216 second doses.

The percentage of appointments missed is higher in younger age groups and more deprived areas, with a quarter of first dose appointments missed in the under-50s, and the same percentage missed in the most deprived areas.

The data on missed vaccination appointments, which has been released for the first time, comes after several recent reports of no-shows at vaccine centres, including at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro and the Royal Highland Centre in Lothian.

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A nurse with a vial of vaccine at the vaccination centre at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility in Motherwell, Scotland. Picture date: Friday June 11, 2021.
A nurse with a vial of vaccine at the vaccination centre at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility in Motherwell, Scotland. Picture date: Friday June 11, 2021.

No-shows are measured only from the centralised vaccine booking system, and so are not representative of the whole population.

They do not include appointments arranged by GPs, the over-80s, or appointments in Highland or island health boards, which are managed differently.

The largest proportion of people who do not turn up to at least one appointment is in the 30 to 39-year-old age group, at 31.4 per cent.

The rate is much lower in older people, at around 10 per cent in 55 to 59-year-olds, and just two per cent in those over-60.

The overall rate of no-shows was 18 per cent for first doses. It is much lower for second doses, at four per cent.

In addition to the no-shows, a total of 569,075 first dose appointments have been cancelled since February, while the figure is 270,090 for second doses.

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PHS suggests a number of reasons for no-shows, especially in younger age groups.

These include that younger people may be more likely to get a vaccine at a drop-in clinic and not cancel their appointment, and that they visit the GP less often, so contact details are more likely to be out of date.

Younger people may also be likely to miss an appointment due to work or other commitments.

The figures also include people who do not wish to take up the vaccine.

The rollout is still ongoing in younger age groups, and many individuals who miss an appointment are likely to take up another at a later date.

In older groups, up to half of those who did not attend a first dose appointment were vaccinated at a later date.

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