The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Covid vaccine hesitancy shows that the hesitancy rate in adults has dropped from nine per cent in February to just four per cent in June. Around one in seven older teenagers, whose views on the vaccine have been studied by the ONS for the first time, have also been found to be sceptical of Covid vaccination.
The Evening Standard has more.
Some 14% of 16-17 year-olds reported vaccine hesitancy when surveyed by the ONS between May and June.
The U.K.’s vaccination programme is currently only open to adults aged 18 and over, and some children in exceptional circumstances, with experts divided on whether children should be jabbed.
The ONS also found that nine per cent of 18-21 year-olds and 10% of 22-25 year-olds reported hesitancy.
Vaccine hesitancy is defined as people who have refused a vaccine, say they would be unlikely to get a vaccine when offered, and those who responded “neither likely nor unlikely”, “don’t know” or “prefer not to say” when asked.
The survey was carried out between May 26th and June 20th and covered 16,180 participants aged 16 and over.
Across all people surveyed, the ONS found the vast majority (96%) reported positive sentiment towards a Covid vaccine, while four per cent reported vaccine hesitancy.
There continue to be sharp differences in rates of hesitancy among different ethnic and religious groups, however.
Some 18% of black or black British adults reported vaccine hesitancy, compared with 11% for adults of mixed background, four per cent for white adults and three per cent for Asian or Asian British adults.
Around one in seven adults (15%) identifying as Muslim showed hesitancy, compared with nine per cent of people identifying as Hindu and three per cent of the Christian group.
Adults in the most deprived parts of England were more likely to report hesitancy than those living in the least deprived areas (eight per cent and three per cent respectively).
If it was just down to parents, most children would “definitely” or “probably” be vaccinated against Covid when offered, according to other research by the ONS.
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