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.”
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.