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Vaccine Hesitancy Is Still Three-Times Higher Among Black Brits Than Wider Population, Reports ONS

The level of vaccine hesitancy among Black British adults is more than three-times higher than among the wider population (Alamy)

2 min read

The level of vaccine hesitancy among Black Brits is more than three-times higher than for the wider population, new figures reveal.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) an overall 94% of adults in the UK reported positive vaccine sentiment, while 6% reported hesitancy, between 28 April and 23 May.

But when broken down by demographic, there are stark differences in support for the vaccine. 

Black or black British adults were the ethnic group with the highest reported hesitancy, up at 21%, compared to 6% for white British adults. 

When looking at religious affiliation, those identifying as Muslim had 11% hesitancy, compared with to 5% of Christians and 2% of Hindus.

There was also a wealth gap in vaccine uptake. One in 10 people in the most deprived parts of England reported vaccine hesitancy, compared to just 3% in the least deprived areas.

The age group with the highest level of reported vaccine hesitancy is 16 to 29-year-olds at 13%, the ONS report.

Overall levels of hesitancy in Britain are slightly down from the previous month, according to the survey of 15,173 people aged 16 and over.

For those who reported negative vaccine sentiment, 59% had health-related concerns, and 56% had general hesitation about the vaccine and its safety, while almost a third of women selected reasons relating to fertility.

However reports of serious side-effects from being receiving a vaccine are "very rare”, say the NHS, who add there is no evidence it has any effect on chances of becoming pregnant.

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