Young people, women and those from some ethnic backgrounds are less likely to take-up a Covid-19 vaccine when offered, according to new UK-wide research.
The intention to take up the offer of a vaccine was high overall with more than four in five (82%) saying they were likely to accept the offer, according to the study, published in the journal Brain Behaviour and Immunity.
The researchers, from the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, surveyed more than 12,000 people across the UK.
More than seven in 10 (71.8%) people who described themselves as black, or black British, said they would be unlikely to get a jab.
Meanwhile 42% of people with Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage said they were unlikely to have the vaccine.
One in five (21%) women indicated they were hesitant to get the jab compared to 14.7% of men.
And 28.3% of younger adults aged 25-34 reported they wouldn’t take up the vaccine, compared to only 14.3% in the 55-64 age group, 8.1% in the 65-74 age group and 4.5% in the 75 years and older group.
Professor Vittal Katikireddi, lead author of the study, from the University of Glasgow, said: “Our study data shows a positive picture in terms of being willing to be vaccinated overall. However, the research does highlight that very large differences in vaccine hesitancy exist by ethnicity, with some but not all minority ethnic groups being hesitant.
“These differences highlight the potential to widen health inequalities, and therefore the importance of deliberate efforts to engage with these groups as a priority.
“Initiatives to improve uptake in black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups within the UK should continue to be a priority – for example, by working in close partnership with communities and making use of community champions.”
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi last week said disinformation about the jabs was being “forensically targeted” at specific groups.
He said that information was “very, very cleverly, hyper super-forensically targeted at different communities”.
Mr Zahawi told the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee that disinformation about vaccines and fertility were “proving to be sadly quite potent”.
Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch said misinformation around fertility and coronavirus vaccines was coming from “the aunty” rather than social media.
She also told the group of MPs that people needed to take a “personal responsibility” in tackling vaccine disinformation.