• Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy 20-points higher amongst ethnic minority communities

If the Covid-19 vaccine was made available to them, 82% of the British public say they would have it. However, there is a worrying 20-point gap when considering ethnicity – 84% of people who identify as white say they would take the vaccine, compared to just 64% among ethnic minority communities.

There is a major need to tackle vaccine hesitancy, with those in ethnic minority communities twice as likely to say they would not have the vaccine (16%, compared to 8% of white people), and much more likely to be undecided on whether they would have it (21%, compared to 8% of white people).

There is also a stark difference between age groups – with younger people more reluctant to get the jab. Only 69% of Gen Z (aged 18-23), 73% of millennials (aged 24-39) and 82% of Gen X (aged 40- 55) would have it, compared to 93% of baby boomers (aged 56-74) and 98% of those aged over 75.

When it comes to the voices the UK public trust to convince them that the Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective, politicians are at the bottom of the pile – with their local MP at 40% and the Prime Minister at 45%. Medical experts are the most trusted – with your GP at 78%, medical academics at 76%, and public health officials at 71%.

Strikingly, there is significantly lower trust in medical experts around the vaccine among ethnic minority communities – with just 58% trusting public health officials (compared to 72% of white people), 66% trusting their local GP (compared to 79% of white people) and 67% trusting medical academics (compared to 77% of white people).

Overall, there is significant opportunity to empower and mobilise people’s more immediate networks to provide reassurance - 74% of the UK public trust a member of their family and 71% their closest friend. Amongst people from ethnic minority communities ‘a member of your family’ and ‘your closest friend’ are the voices they trust most – considerably more than medical experts.

Ed Williams, President and CEO Edelman EMEA, said:

“These findings have clear implications for the message carriers the government should look to use, and how they target particular communities and groups when they promote and rollout the vaccine in the weeks and months ahead. A sophisticated approach to communications to overcome vaccine hesitancy will not only save lives; it is a societal and economic imperative.”