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COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in BAME communities

An older man receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

We want to hear from you

Why are many people within BAME communities choosing not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine? With your help, Age UK can better understand.


The COVID-19 vaccination rollout in the UK has now reached 20 million people. But not everyone is taking the opportunity to receive their vaccine. Figures suggest an uptake gap among BAME communities, and Age UK would like to hear from anyone this applies to, to better understand the reasons for this hesitation.

At the beginning of 2021 the Office for National Statistics asked people around the UK about their attitudes to taking up the invitation to have a coronavirus vaccine, and found differences between ethnicities: 85% of White people said they were likely to accept the invitation to be vaccinated compared to 72% of Asian people and 49% of Black people.

It is difficult to know if this is being borne out in the uptake of the coronavirus vaccine, as there are not official statistics on the ethnicity of people who have been offered a vaccine. However, NHS England data show that, as of 21 February, more than three quarters of people who had been vaccinated against coronavirus were of White British ethnicity.

Our best data comes from OpenSAFELY, which analyses the medical records of more than 23 million people in the UK. The team has looked at data on coronavirus vaccination up to mid-February 2021 and found that 93% of people aged 80 and older had been vaccinated.

There were, however, substantial differences by ethnic group, with 94% of eligible White people having been vaccinated, compared to 65% of eligible Black people and 79% of eligible Asian people. Among younger age groups which have more recently been invited for vaccination there are similar ethnic inequalities.

But why is this? What are your concerns regarding the vaccine? Where has the information you've based your decision not to receive the vaccine come from? Age UK would like to hear from you, to better understand these issues, in order to improve the information we're providing.

Share your story with us

Tell us your doubts about the vaccine. Let us know why you, and those in your community, feel the way you do. This will help us tailor our information to better suit the needs of everyone. Whatever you tell us can be anonymous if you'd prefer.

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Last updated: Jul 28 2022

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