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COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Diverse Groups in the UK—Is the Driver Economic or Cultural in Student Populations

Drobniewski, F., Kusuma, D., Broda, A. , Castro-Sánchez, E. & Ahmad, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4294-7142 (2022). COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Diverse Groups in the UK—Is the Driver Economic or Cultural in Student Populations. Vaccines, 10(4), article number 501. doi: 10.3390/vaccines10040501


Studies have identified a greater reluctance for members of the Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities to be vaccinated against COVID-19 despite a higher probability of greater harm from COVID-19. We conducted an anonymised questionnaire-based study of students (recruiting primarily before first reports of embolic events) at two London universities to identify whether economic or educational levels were primarily responsible for this reluctance: a postgraduate core group (PGCC) n = 860, and a pilot study of undergraduate medical and nursing students (n = 103). Asian and Black students were 2.0 and 3.2 times (PGCC) less likely to accept the COVID vaccine than White British students. Similar findings were noted in the pilot study students. As the students were studying for Master’s or PhD degrees and voluntarily paying high fees, educational and economic reasons were unlikely to be the underlying cause, and wider cultural reservations were more likely. Politicians exerted a strong negative influence, suggesting that campaigns should omit politicians.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Publisher Keywords: COVID-19; vaccine hesitancy; students; healthcare workers
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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