Coronavirus and vaccine hesitancy, Great Britain: 9 August 2021

Hesitancy towards a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, based on the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) covering the period 23 June to 18 July 2021. Additional analysis examines hesitancy in areas of Great Britain between 7 January to 28 March and 28 April to 18 July 2021.

This is the latest release. View previous releases

Cyswllt:
Email David Ainslie, Caleb Ogwuru and Rebecca Sinclair

Dyddiad y datganiad:
9 August 2021

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
To be announced

1. Main points

In the latest period, 23 June to 18 July 2021, based on adults in Great Britain, we found:

  • More than 9 in 10 (96%) adults reported positive sentiment towards a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, while 4% reported vaccine hesitancy; this was the same as in the previous period.

  • Vaccine hesitancy appeared to have decreased slightly among the youngest age groups compared with the previous period; vaccine hesitancy was 11% among those aged 16 to 17 years (14% in the previous period), 5% among those aged 18 to 21 years (9% in the previous period) and 9% among those aged 22 to 25 years (10% in the previous period).

  • Black or Black British adults had the highest rates of vaccine hesitancy (21%) compared with White adults (4%).

  • Vaccine hesitancy was higher for adults identifying Muslim (14%) or Other (14%) as their religion1, compared with adults who identify as Christian (4%); however, there was no statistically significant difference when compared with any of the remaining religious groups.

  • Adults living in the most deprived areas of England (based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation) were more likely to report vaccine hesitancy (8%) than adults living in the least deprived areas (2%).

  • Adults who were unemployed (12%) were more likely to report vaccine hesitancy than those who were in employment (4%) or retired (1%).2

For the first time, we have looked at vaccine hesitancy across the different areas of Great Britain, comparing two periods, 7 January to 28 March and 28 April to 18 July 2021:

  • There was a widespread fall in vaccine hesitancy over the two periods considered; falls tended to be greatest in areas with the highest initial vaccine hesitancy rates such as London (11% to 7%), including Inner London East (13% to 7%), Outer London West and North West (12% to 7%); and Wales (9% to 4%), including West Wales and The Valleys (11% to 5%).

  • In line with trends observed across Great Britain as a whole, young adults, those of Black or Black British ethnicity, the unemployed and those living in deprived areas3 are generally the most hesitant towards vaccines in all English regions, Scotland and Wales.

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The estimates are from a sample of adults and may differ from the latest official data on the number of adults who have received the COVID-19 vaccination. It does not include adults living in care homes or other establishments.

Notes for: Main points

  1. Other here refers to people who do not identify their religion as: No Religion, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim or Sikh. For more information, please see the GSS harmonised principle for religion.

  2. In employment includes those who are "employed" "self-employed" or an "unpaid family worker". The definitions of employment and unemployment are based upon International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions. Further information about labour market definitions can be found in A guide to labour market statistics.

  3. Analysis by level of deprivation using the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) was conducted for England only.

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2. Coronavirus and vaccine hesitancy data

Coronavirus and vaccine hesitancy, Great Britain
Dataset | Released 9 August 2021
Estimates of vaccine sentiment in Great Britain with breakdowns by different population groups. Analysis based on the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN).

Coronavirus and vaccine hesitancy, city regions
Dataset | Released 9 August 2021
Estimates of vaccine sentiment for city region geographies split by characteristics including age, employment, tenure, health and Index of Multiple Deprivation. Analysis based on the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN).

Coronavirus and vaccine hesitancy, International Territorial Level (ITL) 1
Dataset | Released 9 August 2021
Estimates of vaccine sentiment for ITL1 geographies (countries and regions of the UK) split by characteristics including age, employment, tenure, health and Index of Multiple Deprivation. Analysis based on the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN).

Coronavirus and vaccine hesitancy, International Territorial Level (ITL) 2
Dataset | Released 9 August 2021
Estimates of vaccine sentiment for ITL2 geographies including split by sex. Analysis based on the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN).

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3. Measuring the data

Vaccine sentiment

"Vaccine hesitancy" refers to adults who:

  • have been offered a vaccine and decided not to be vaccinated

  • report being very or fairly unlikely to have a vaccine if offered

  • responded "neither likely nor unlikely", "don't know" or "prefer not to say" to the question "if a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19) was offered to you, how likely or unlikely would you be to have the vaccine?"

It should be noted that a small number of respondents reported "prefer not to say". This response is considered to represent those unsure about the vaccine.

"Positive sentiment" refers to adults who:

  • have received a vaccine

  • have been offered a vaccine and are waiting to be vaccinated

  • report being very or fairly likely to have a vaccine if offered

Our survey does not include adults living in care homes or other establishments so will not capture vaccinations in these settings. Owing to small sample sizes, the percentage of adults who have declined the vaccine should be treated with caution.

Vaccine sentiment for those under 18 years

At the time of data collection, COVID-19 vaccine rollout was aimed at those aged 18 years and over. We also asked young adults (16 to 17 years old) about their likelihood to have a vaccine if offered. Although the majority of these adults have not been offered a vaccine, it is possible for some 16- and 17-year-olds to have received, been offered, or declined a COVID-19 vaccine. The latest recommendations on vaccination for groups under the age of 18 years from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are available.

Opinions and Lifestyle Survey

This release contains data and indicators from a module being undertaken through the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on British society.

Where differences between groups are presented in this bulletin, associated confidence intervals, which are included in the accompanying datasets, indicate their significance.

Comparisons with data from these previous periods should be made using estimates in the accompanying datasets, which include confidence intervals to indicate whether the differences are significant.

Sampling and weighting

The Great Britain level analysis is based on pooled data, which comprise four waves of weekly data collection covering from 23 June to 18 July 2021. This pooled data included 15,433 adults aged 16 years and over in Great Britain. Pooling four waves of data together increases sample sizes, allowing us to explore vaccine sentiment for different groups of the population.

The Great Britain level analysis presented in this bulletin provides an update to the following previously published analysis:

  • 8 March (covering the period 13 January to 7 February 2021)

  • 1 April (covering period 17 February to 14 March 2021)

  • 6 May (covering the period 31 March to 25 April 2021)

  • 9 June (covering period 28 April to 23 May 2021)

  • 2 July (covering the period 26 May to 20 June 2021)

The regional level analysis is based on two pooled datasets. For the period 7 January to 28 March 2021 this comprises 12 waves of weekly data collection during this period and included a total of 52,021 adults aged 16 years and over in Great Britain. For the period 28 April to 18 July 2021, it similarly comprises 12 waves of weekly data collection during this period and included a total of 46,376 adults aged 16 years and over in Great Britain. Pooling waves of data together increases sample sizes, allowing us to explore vaccine sentiment at a regional level for different groups of the population.

Survey weights were applied to make estimates representative of the population (based on the latest applicable population projections).

Further information on the survey design and quality can be found in the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey QMI.

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

David Ainslie, Caleb Ogwuru and Rebecca Sinclair
policy.evidence.analysis@ons.gov.uk
Ffôn: +44 (0)300 0671543