Public Perceptions Towards taking the Covid 19 Vaccine

Arts organisation Cohesion Plus and Kent Equality Cohesion Council have published a report titled “Public Perceptions Towards taking the Covid 19 Vaccine”. The report was compiled to better understand the reports of low uptake of the vaccine amongst BAME communities. The data used in the report was collected via an online survey which went out across Kent through arts, community, faith and organisational networks and had in total 1,325 overall responses.

The report aimed to provide a snapshot across Kent around community attitudes towards taking the Covid 19 vaccine. Looking at national data around the disproportionate impact that Covid 19 had on BAME communities and media coverage of low uptake, the report also aimed to better understand whether BAME communities where in fact hesitant and if so, where the reluctance stemmed from.

Key findings from the report included:

Females including trans-females were more likely to take the vaccine when offered and had less concerns about receiving it than males including trans males and felt there was enough information made publicly available.

The 21-34 age group was the most unlikely to take up the vaccine when offered whilst the 25-34 age group were most worried about taking it and also felt there was not enough information made publicly available around the vaccine.

In the area covered by Kent County Council, Gravesham, Maidstone, Swale and Dartford had the most responses both in terms of having confidence in the vaccine and also having concerns compared to the rest of Kent.

Two of the main reasons for vaccine hesitancy were concerns around fertility and the unknown long-term impact of taking the vaccine. Vaccine hesitancy for religious reasons did not come up in any significant way.

The location of where the vaccine would be administered was less important to British White respondents compared to BAME respondents. This was especially the case for Black British Africans.

Gurvinder Sandher, Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented, “As an organisation embedded in the local community, we have remained very active around working with health and local authority partners to raise awareness of the vaccine programme and the importance of getting vaccinated. This piece of work is a continuation of that approach and we are very grateful to our arts community and faith partners who helped share the survey out so that we were able to receive such a positive response. Like everyone else we are keen to get back to a sense of normality so that we can return to what we do best which is delivering high quality, culturally diverse outdoor arts.”