The vaccine hesitancy rate in Great Britain has reduced overall during 2021 and has plateaued at 4%.
Note: Vaccine hesitancy includes those who have been offered a vaccine but declined the offer; are very or fairly unlikely to have the vaccine if offered; are neither likely nor unlikely to have the vaccine if offered; don’t know; preferred not to say.
Understanding the following 3 key elements could help focus resources to maximise vaccination rates
1. Reasons why people may refuse the vaccination if or when offered
Note: Participants in above survey were able to choose more than one option (responses from each individual was only counted once within in ‘theme’).
Considering the last two surveys where the overall hesitancy was the same at 4%, it’s interesting to note the increases in percentages of those stating health reasons or that the vaccination is not needed.
Reviewing the individual questions within each ‘theme’ revealed increasing concerns about side effects, effect on existing conditions and long term effects on health. Interestingly the percentage increased in those that felt they did not need a vaccine because they had already had Covid-19 and because they did not feel Covid-19 was a risk to them personally.
2. Personal characteristics of individuals
Considering the latest survey data from June to July, gender (4% vaccine hesitancy in men versus 5% in women), disability status, or clinically extremely vulnerable status don’t appear to have a significant impact
The following elements do:
- Age – highest vaccine hesitancy in younger age groups (8% in ages 16 to 29 versus 2% in over 50s)
- Ethnicity – highest vaccine hesitancy in Black/Black British populations (21% versus 4% in white and 6% in Asian/Asian British)
- Religion – highest vaccine hesitancy in Muslims (14% versus 4% in Christians or 6% in Jews)
3. Location, socio-economic and other elements
Again considering the latest survey data from June to July, no significant differences on vaccine hesitancy based on the number of people in the household or whether they care for someone in their own home
The following elements do have an impact:
- Region or country – highest vaccine hesitancy in London (7% versus 2% in the East of England)
- Deprivation levels – highest vaccine hesitancy in the most deprived (8% versus 2% in the least deprived)
- Employment status – highest vaccine hesitancy in the unemployed (8% versus 1% in the retired and 4% in those employed or self-employed)
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