by BFFF
Apr 27th, 2021
3 mins
BFFF
While the covid vaccination programme so far has overall been a great success, data shows some disparities in uptake rates in different groups in society. These differences appear to be mostly around race, religion and sex.
On 22 February 2021, the government advised that although there was a 90% uptake of the first dose of the vaccine by those aged 70 and over, there were early signs of lower vaccine uptake in lower income and some ethnic minority groups (Cabinet Office: COVID-19 Response: Spring 2021 (Roadmap)).
The government is taking steps to address vaccine concerns through a new Vaccination Equalities Committee, which brings together representatives from public health, local authorities, voluntary organisations and faith groups in an effort to understand and find ways to overcome the specific barriers facing different communities. For further information, see DHSC: UK COVID-19 vaccine uptake plan.
Committee Chair Caroline Nokes said:

“The reasons for disparities in vaccine uptake are complex. Some of the groups with lower uptake rates are also among those who are at greater risk from covid, which is especially worrying. The Government must improve its understanding of why this is happening – and then take action to support more equal uptake. This problem must be solved urgently, or there is a real risk that existing health inequalities will be further exacerbated.”

We are awaiting some further guidance on how the Government plan to address this issue and will keep you updated as it is released.

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