There has been a jump in people overcoming vaccine hesitancy and coming forward for their Covid-19 jab in England, health officials have said.
Confidence in the jab has grown among both men and women under 45, by 17% and 27% respectively, according to new analysis produced by ORB International and the Vaccine Confidence Project.
NHS England said there has been an increase of more than a fifth among adults under 45 who would definitely get their vaccine according to the new study, which surveyed 16,610 people from a nationally representative sample.
The study found 63% would definitely get the jab, with a further 21% likely to accept.
More people from a range of ethnic and religious groups also intend to say yes to protection from the virus, with an increase of 21% in Muslims and 18% in Christians who would definitely get the jab, NHS England said.
Vaccine uptake more than tripled among Black British and Asian communities between February and April, and the Vaccine Confidence Project’s data suggests this trend will continue for younger age groups with 6% and 24% increases respectively in those who intend to get the jab.
GP and NHS national medical director for primary care, Dr Nikki Kanani, said: “Tackling vaccine hesitancy has been at the heart of the NHS vaccination programme, the biggest in NHS history, which has so far delivered more than 55 million doses across England.
“Since the NHS launched its action plan to encourage uptake in February, it has reached people from all communities and backgrounds through a combination of dedicated NHS teams who know and understand their communities, targeted engagement with faith leaders, pop-up clinics in places of worship, sports stadiums and local community centres, as well as strong, vocal backing from high profile voices like comedian Lenny Henry and TV star Adil Ray.
“The vaccine is proven to be safe and effective, and it’s vital that everyone gets both first and second doses in order to get full protection against coronavirus – so when you are invited, please do not hesitate to book in and do what you can to protect yourself, your families and your communities from Covid.”
The NHS said the vaccine increase among Muslim communities is particularly significant and reflects the work the NHS has done within this community.
Dr Farzana Hussain, GP at The Project Surgery, said: “The increasing vaccine uptake among various ethnic and religious communities is no happy accident, it is fantastic to see the hard work of colleagues rewarded.
“This is a direct result of the work NHS teams have done with local communities and the data highlights that efforts such as those around Ramadan have not gone to waste, with more and more Muslims, as well as other previously hesitant groups, increasingly convinced that the vaccine is the right decision.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am incredibly proud that our country has one of the highest uptake rates for the vaccine in the world.
“Millions of people from all backgrounds have joined the national effort and rolled up their sleeves to get the life-saving jab.
“We know how effective the vaccine is, especially after two doses which offers the fullest possible protection against the virus.
“Thousands of lives have been saved and thousands of hospitalisations prevented.
“These are not just numbers, these are our family, friends and loved ones who have all been protected.
“We have vaccinated over three quarters of UK adults with a first dose and half of adults with a second dose.
“Each vaccine brings us one step closer to putting this pandemic behind us.
“So when you get the call, get the jab.”