Data shows ethnic inequalities of Covid-19 vaccine uptake in London

In London there is a considerable difference between the most vaccinated ethnic group and the least vaccinated ethnic group according to a recent study.

The most vaccinated ethnic group in the capital is 32.6 per cent more vaccinated than the least vaccinated group.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) earlier this month shows that 81 per cent of Londoners received at least one vaccination between December 8 2020 and December 31 2021.

Hover to see data | Infographic by James Hogg

But despite the high uptake overall of the vaccine in the capital, not all ethnic groups are as acceptant of the vaccine as others.

Between January and February of last year, Stirling University’s Institute for Social Marketing and Health (ISMH) and the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) conducted a study including nearly 5,000 respondents.

Findings from the survey were that 87 per cent of white British participants indicated vaccine acceptance. This fell significantly in other ethnic groups, with 58 per cent acceptance in Black and Black British groups, 61 per cent in mixed / multiple ethnic groups and 61 per cent among Asian / Asian British groups.

Dr Ruth Watkinson from the University of Manchester said: “We found that ethnic inequalities in Covid-19 vaccine uptake are far wider than those seen previously for seasonal Influenza vaccine, and exist even among those recently vaccinated against Influenza.

“Further research and community engagement is needed to build trust and confidence amongst minority ethnic communities, and to better understand and remove barriers to vaccine access.”

Earlier this month the ONS released data which detailed the percentage of people over the age of 18 living in London who are unvaccinated by ethnic group and level of deprivation.

Hover to see data | Infographic by James Hogg

The least vaccinated ethnic group living in London are Black Caribbeans’ with 43.5 percent not yet receiving a vaccination.

The most vaccinated ethnic group from London is Indian with just 10.9 percent of its population being unvaccinated.

For all ethnic groups it is the people who live in the most deprived areas who are least vaccinated. Black Caribbean and Black African people and those of mixed ethnicity living in the most deprived areas are less vaccinated than people from other ethnic groups living in the most deprived areas.

Hover to see data | Infographic by James Hogg

Waltham Forest Council worked on a vaccine confidence programme in 2021 which aimed to increase take-up particularly amongst its most vulnerable residents which included local Black African and Black Caribbean communities.

The council used as many resources as they could to appeal to as many of their residents as possible from social media to e-newsletters and face to face engagement.

Waltham Forest Council reported: “The percentage of residents [in February 2021] reporting they will take the vaccine has risen from 65 per cent in November [2020] to 87 per cent.”

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