More than half of Brits who said they would definitely not get a Covid vaccine last winter have since had one, according to a study by King’s College London and the University of Bristol of almost 5,000 adults aged 18 to 75. In particular, there has been a notable shift in attitudes in favour of the vaccine among people from ethnic minority backgrounds. The Telegraph has the story.
While more than a third [of participants last winter] were certain they would opt for a vaccine and almost one in five thought it was likely, others were unsure or thought it unlikely. Seven per cent said they would definitely not do so.
Researchers questioned almost 2,000 of those who took part in the first survey again in April and found that 52% who had said they would definitely not get a Covid vaccine had already done so if one had been offered.
Overall, 94% of people invited for a vaccine have taken up the offer, the survey found.
The study is based on a survey of 4,896 U.K. adults aged 18 to 75 conducted between April 1st and 16st. It follows up research carried out in November and December and tracks 1,879 of the same individuals to see how their views have changed and why.
The research found that vaccine confidence has grown in many ethnic minority groups. While 36% of people from ethnic minority backgrounds had said they were certain or very likely to get vaccinated when asked in November and December, 72% of those have either now been jabbed or intend to be.
Among white people, the proportion saying the same has increased from 56% to 87%.
The survey found there are still major differences between different religious groups. While 67% of Muslims now express vaccine confidence – up from 23% last year – this is far less than among Anglicans, of whom 94% are certain or very likely to get a jab or have already had one.
Researchers said hesitancy was not driven by religious practice but by different beliefs in different religious groups, with Muslims four times as likely as the public overall to think that vaccines contain pork products.
Among this group, people were far more likely to think that the vaccines affect fertility, with 29% believing people who have had the jab may find it harder to have children in future, compared with seven per cent of the population overall who believe this.
Dr Siobhan McAndrew, a Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Social Science at Bristol, said the driving force behind the change in attitude was often the “concrete benefits of being vaccinated in terms of being able to travel and to see family and friends again”. She is quoted in the Guardian:
Part of the rise in vaccine confidence relates to social proof: people feel more confident because they observe others taking their vaccine with confidence… For some, actually being invited helped them make up their mind.
The Telegraph report is worth reading in full.