COVER Central Return Data Set Overview


The Cover of Vaccination Evaluated Rapidly (COVER) Data Set is used to evaluate the routine childhood Immunisation Programme in England for children up to 5 years of age. The aim is to collect and report vaccine uptake data for all children at one, two and five years of age on a quarterly and annual basis.

The Cover of Vaccination Evaluated Rapidly (COVER) Data Set is also used to evaluate the neonatal hepatitis B Immunisation Programme in England for babies born to hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive mothers.

The information is used:

Public Health England is mandated to report on vaccine uptake figures for children aged one, two and five years for the Local Authority (upper tier) resident population for the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) indicator 3.03 Population vaccination coverage.

NHS Digital is mandated to produce the annual Cover of Vaccination Evaluated Rapidly (COVER) statistics. Cover of Vaccination Evaluated Rapidly (COVER) statistics enable the monitoring of the contribution of the routine childhood Immunisation Programme towards protecting and improving the nation’s health and are used to address inequalities.

Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care also have commitments to report vaccine coverage figures to international organisations such as the World Health Organisation, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.


Immunisation records are held in Child Health Information Systems (CHIS). Quarterly and annual returns are transmitted by Child Health Record Departments (who operate local Child Health Information Systems (CHIS)) or other local Health Care Providers to the NHS Digital Strategic Data Collection Service (SDCS).

Further Guidance

For further guidance see the Public Health England part of the website at Vaccine uptake guidance and the latest coverage data.


The Mandation column indicates the recommendation for the inclusion of data.