The proportion of black or black British adults reporting hesitancy over coronavirus vaccines has halved in roughly a month, official figures show.
Overall positive vaccine sentiment among the British population has risen to 94 per cent in March from 78 per cent in December, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Six per cent of 17,200 respondents reported vaccine hesitancy between 17 February to 14 March – down from nine per cent of respondents during the previous data collection period.
About a fifth (22 per cent) of black or black British adults reported hesitancy – half the 44 per cent who reported hesitancy previously between 13 January and 7 February.
This was the highest level in all ethnic groups, with 13 per cent of adults in the Asian or Asian British group reporting hesitancy and 12 per cent of those with mixed ethnicity.
Our latest analysis of vaccine hesitancy shows 6% of adults reported hesitancy towards the #COVID19 vaccine from 17 Feb to 14 Mar 2021.— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) April 1, 2021
This has fallen from 9% in the previous period (13 Jan to 7 Feb 2021), a trend seen across most population groups https://t.co/vU4V7jB7Td pic.twitter.com/Ueaz88rVcH
The ONS defined hesitancy as adults who have refused a vaccine, say they would be unlikely to get a vaccine when offered, and those who responded “neither likely nor unlikely”, “don’t know” or “prefer not to say” when asked.
Levels of hesitancy in younger adults and parents with a dependent child under five years old also fell.
One in eight adults aged 16-29 reported vaccine hesitancy in the latest data period – down from 17 per cent between 13 January and 7 February.
Eleven per cent of parents with a dependent child younger than five years old reported hesitancy, compared with 16 per cent in the previous data period.
Some 12 per cent of adults in the most deprived areas of England reported hesitancy, compared with three per cent of adults in the country’s least deprived areas, the ONS said.
This was a drop from 16 per cent and seven per cent respectively from the previous data period.
Tim Vizard, from the ONS Public Policy Analysis division, said: “Over the past few months, we have seen attitudes across most of the population becoming more positive towards Covid-19 vaccination.
“However, there is still hesitancy among some groups, including young people, black or black British, and those living in the most deprived areas.”