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Covid booster uptake as low as a third among some minority communities

Covid booster uptake as low as a third among some minority communities

By Jess Hacker
20 January 2022

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Covid booster dose coverage among Black Caribbean people is around half the national rate, with similarly low uptake rate among other ethnic minority communities.

According to new data published today (20 January) by the ONS, people who identify as Black Caribbean had a lower level of uptake (33.9%) than any other ethnicity group in England.

This was followed by people who identify as Pakistani (37.8%) and Black African (37.9%).

By comparison, 64.9% of all adults had received three doses of a Covid-19 vaccine as of 31 December.

The rate of uptake remains low among these ethnic minority groups despite targeted and community-based Government programmes intended to address hesitancy.

Existing studies indicate that people with an ethnic minority background are more likely to be vaccine hesitant due to ‘historical mistrust of Government and public health bodies’.

Data published last August showed that walk-in Covid vaccine clinics have helped increase uptake among ethnic minority communities significantly.

Health workers have highest uptake

Meanwhile, the dataset highlighted that health professionals had the highest rate (83.3%) of uptake for the booster among people aged 40 to 64 years.

However, it also revealed a number of further disparities in uptake, including:

  • Those living in the most deprived areas were less likely (54.3%) to have had all three Covid doses than those living in the most well-off areas (73%)
  • People identifying as Muslim had the lowest rate of uptake (40.2%) when compared to those of other faiths, such as people who are Jewish (70.5%) or Hindu (70.0%)
  • Booster coverage was higher among people who spoke English as their main language (66.6%) than those who do not (45.5%).

Last month, the Government announced the 60 local authority areas with the lowest Covid vaccine uptake that will receive £22.5m funding.

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