Despite decreasing Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy, around 30 per cent of Black or Black British adults reported vaccine hesitancy, the highest compared with all ethnic groups, the government has said on Tuesday (May 25), urging everyone to have their vaccination against Covid-19 when offered.
The call comes as data shows vaccine confidence has steadily increased following government action, with 93 per cent of adults reporting positive sentiment towards it.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has prioritised people based on age, with older people being offered the vaccination first. As the UK’s White population makes up a greater number of those in the older age categories, the percentage of those who have already received vaccinations is higher when compared with ethnic minority groups.
“As the vaccine is rolled out to younger age groups the government will continue its targeted action to ensure that ethnic minority people are willing to take the jab,” the government has said.
Minister for equalities, Kemi Badenoch, said: “We are taking the vital action necessary to protect our families, communities and the country from the scourge of Covid-19. Our positive progress deploying the vaccine and promoting confidence in it has been a tireless, collective effort, from faith leaders, voluntary groups and the NHS all working together in every community to turn back the tide of Covid-19.
“We are not complacent and we will continue to tackle dangerous disinformation and work with trusted partners to promote confidence in the vaccine so everyone takes up their jab when they are offered it.
“Vaccines are the key to unlocking a return to normal life, and this Government will continue to do everything it can to ensure everyone is confident to take them.”
Dr Farzana Hussain, who’s been hailed a ‘Hero GP’ for her tireless efforts during the pandemic, including online campaigning and debunking of misinformation, and personally calling scores of patients who have yet to take the jab, said: “It is really important that everyone takes the vaccine – unless all of us are protected, none of us are protected.
“The vaccines are very safe – they have been trialled on hundreds of thousands of volunteers by world-leading scientists, and now millions of doses have been given, just in the UK alone. I urge everyone to take the jab when they are offered it.”
Dr Masood Ahmed, chief medical officer for the Black Country and West Birmingham CCG, said: “We have strong, resilient communities and have been able to address vaccine hesitancy by connecting with people, listening to fears, and having meaningful conversations in order to reduce barriers, which is key for longer term sustainable solutions to address wider health inequalities.
“It’s so important that we share learnings to understand and address the health inequalities that Covid-19 has highlighted, and whilst we have had some success in reaching people and communities, there is still opportunity to do more.”
Dr Rohini Mathur, assistant professor at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “This report highlights the positive impact of increasing vaccine confidence in minority ethnic groups across England and points towards the importance of understanding the complex interaction between socio-economic, geographic, and health related factors in explaining disparities exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.”