Even though they received the second dose six months ago, many Scots are still waiting to get a booster shot.

The top priority vaccine group’s top 616,000 members are currently due for their booster. But, just 511,807 jabs has been administered, according to figures.

Scientists believe that a pre-winter booster program is essential to safeguard those most at risk from Covid.

According to the Scottish government, its booster program was on track.

According to the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, (JCVI), there should be a gap of no less than six months between third and second doses.

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Although there is not a breakdown in Scotland regarding who has received the third dose, it can be assumed that the most high priority individuals were given the first two doses.

Public Health Scotland (PHS), data indicate that there are 104,000 individuals in these groups, who have been on the second dose for six months but have not received a booster.

Similar patterns are also observed in other older groups.

Professor Andrew Watterson is a University of Stirling public health researcher. He stated that vaccines offer “decreased coverage” over time and it was crucial to boost immunity before winter.

BBC Scotland’s He said that Winter will cause more severe respiratory problems and leave more people, especially those already at high risk and exposed to Covid.

Scotland and the UK were quick to get started with their vaccine programme. They began in December last year, giving first shots to the most vulnerable. This was faster than any country around the globe.

This means that there are many older citizens in the country who have been vaccinated and could be starting to see some of their protection wane.

PHS data has shown an increase in older adults being admitted to hospitals with Covid within the last few weeks.

The over-80s accounted for approximately 6% of weekly admissions in May and June. However, this figure has risen to nearly 18% by the week ending on 12 October.

Prof Watterson explained that “it’s possible, although not yet known, that delayed boosters could cause increased hospitalisations – however, effects generally would be less severe after double-jabbing regardless of immunity waning.

The question of “When does the waning become significant” is still unanswered and may vary from person to person.

The JCVI recommends that anyone over 50 receive a third dose.

According to estimates by the Scottish government there are around 3,375,000 residents in Scotland’s nine priority areas. Each of them will be eligible for a booster shot.

PHS statistics relating the most vulnerable groups, including those in residential care homes and workers at social and health services, show that 616.285 have been due boosters after receiving a second dose six months ago.

The gap is now at 104,478.

Also included in this group are the 16-64 years olds, who have underlying conditions and their unpaid carer (16 and older).

Focusing only on over-50s, we see that 889,677 of these people had their first jab six months ago. This leaves about 377,872 potential booster recipients.

If they’re a caregiver or suffer from an underlying medical condition, however, certain over-50s could be considered in another priority group.

Although daily data on booster vaccinations is not available until October 13, they indicate that on average about 25,000 vaccines are administered each day.

Humza Yousaf, Health Secretary of Scotland, said that Scotland’s booster program prioritized those most at risk for both Covid-19 or flu.

He said, “We began this as quickly as possible after the JCVI advise – that booster doses should not be given earlier than six month following completion of the primary vaccination course.”

It is worth noting that many of those in the first priority early cohorts had had a gap of six months prior to receiving JCVI advice.

We are providing a record number free flu vaccines this year to protect our people in Scotland. This is Scotland’s largest ever flu vaccine program, reaching more than four million people.

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Source: BBC.com

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