Why you should be vaccinated
The aim is to get as many people as possible vaccinated as quickly as possible. This will drive infections to the lowest level possible, particularly as a significantly more infectious and faster spreading strain has developed.
The vaccine is not mandatory but NHS Scotland strongly recommends you get the vaccine when offered it.
Who is currently being offered the coronavirus vaccine?
NHS Scotland are following the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice and are vaccinating those most at risk first, and those who work closest with them.
Those who have already been invited or are currently being invited to be vaccinated are:
- residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- front line health and social care workers
- clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- everyone aged 65 and over
- those aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- unpaid carers aged 16 to 64
People with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers are a large group of people. It will take several weeks to get everyone in these groups vaccinated so please be patient.
Underlying health conditions
Health conditions that put people aged 16 years and over at higher risk of serious disease and mortality include:
Younger adults in long-stay nursing and residential care settings
Many younger adults in residential care settings will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine because they fall into one of the clinical risk groups (for example learning disabilities).
Given the likely high risk of exposure in these settings, vaccination of the whole resident population is recommended.
Younger residents in care homes for the elderly will also be at a higher risk of exposure. Although they may be at lower risk of mortality than older residents, they should be offered the coronavirus vaccine.
Unpaid carers aged 16 to 64 are now beginning to be offered vaccination alongside adults with eligible at-risk health conditions (priority group 6).
Those unpaid carers aged 65 and over will have been offered the vaccine earlier in priority groups 2 to 5.
Unpaid carers being prioritised for vaccination are those who provide face to face care (without payment) for someone else due to a disability, ill-health, frailty or addiction issues.
Unpaid carers will be invited to get their coronavirus vaccine by phone or letter.
If you are not registered with your GP as a carer, you do not have to do anything at this time. Further information about a self-referral system for unpaid carers in Scotland will be available soon.
Frontline social care workers
The JCVI definition of frontline social care workers is:
- those working in long-stay residential and nursing care homes or other long-stay care facilities where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high levels of illness or death
- social care staff directly involved in the care of their patients or clients
- others involved directly in delivering social care such that they and vulnerable patients/ clients are at increased risk of exposure
Frontline Social Care workers working directly with Local Authority or NHS services will be contacted by their local Health Board for vaccination.
Social care workers in the private/independent or third sector
A letter has been issued to the Third and Independent Sector which provides further advice for staff to self-assess their eligibility for vaccination.
It includes information for Social Care workers to arrange their vaccination appointment. Speak to your employer for more information.
Clinically extremely vulnerable
Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals are those who were recommended by the NHS to shield.
Everyone in this group will be eligible for a vaccination at the same time as those aged 70 and over. People with underlying health conditions who are not on the shielding list will be offered the vaccine shortly after that.
Highest risk groups who were recommended to shield
Who will be offered the coronavirus vaccination next?
The next group of people to be invited for their coronavirus vaccination are those aged 50 and over.
Further information around those under 50 will be available soon.
Read further information about JCVI advice on priority groups for the coronavirus vaccination on GOV.UK.
Who should not get the vaccination
You should not get the coronavirus vaccine if you've had a severe anaphylactic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine or a previous dose of the vaccine.
Before you're vaccinated, tell the person giving you the vaccine if you've ever had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
This will affect very few people, but you will be able to ask any questions at your appointment.
Further information about the vaccines and their ingredients
Pregnancy, breastfeeding and the vaccine
If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, read more about the coronavirus vaccine and pregnancy.