UK-REACH has finds around a quarter of UK healthcare workers reported SARS-CoV-2 vaccine hesitancy.

The study, part of the largest and most comprehensive research project seeking to understand the impact of Covid-19 on ethnic minority health and care workers, surveyed 11,584 health and care workers.  The study found the following vaccine hesitancy rates for each of the ethnic groups identified:

  • White British HCWs (21.3% hesitant);
  • Black Caribbean (54.2%);
  • Mixed White and Black Caribbean (38.1%);
  • Black African (34.4%);
  • Chinese (33.1%);
  • Pakistani (30.4%); and
  • White Other (28.7%).

The study concluded that, despite increased risk of COVID-19, health and care workers from some ethnic minority groups are more likely to be vaccine hesitant than their White British colleagues.

“Public health communications should be inclusive, non-stigmatising and utilise trusted networks.”

In order to address the vaccine hesitancy issues, researchers said “strategies to build trust and dispel myths surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine in these communities are urgently required.”

Hesitancy factors

The study found that the main factors contributing to vaccine hesitancy were younger age, female sex, believe in COVID-19 conspiracy theories, lower trust in employers, lack of influenza vaccine uptake in the previous season and pregnancy.

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