An interesting preprint in Medrxiv published September 2020 by Bell and others looked into this.

The availability of a COVID-19 vaccine has been heralded as key to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 vaccination programme’s success will rely on public willingness to be vaccinated. This study looked at parents and guardians’ views on the acceptability of future COVID-19 vaccines.

It looked at responses by 1252 parents and guardians aged 16+ years who reported living in England with a child aged 18 months or under.

Most participants reported that they would definitely accept or were unsure but leaning towards accepting a COVID-19 vaccine for themselves.

  1. Definitely 55.8%,
  2. Unsure but leaning towards yes 34.3%
  3. Their child/children definitely 48.2%, unsure but leaning towards yes 40.9%.
  4. Less than 4% of participants reported that they would definitely not accept a COVID-19 vaccine for themselves or their child/children.
  5. Participants were more likely to accept the COVID-19 vaccine for themselves than for their child/children.
  6. Participants that self-reported as black, Asian, Chinese, mixed or other ethnicity were almost three times more likely to reject the COVID-19 vaccine for themselves and their children than white British, white Irish and white other participants.
  7. Respondents from lower income households were also more likely to reject the COVID-19 vaccine. The main reason for vaccine acceptance was the self-protection from COVID-19.

Common concerns around COVID-19 were vaccine safety and effectiveness, which was largely prompted by the newness and rapid development of the vaccine.

The authors concluded that to alleviate concerns, information on how COVID-19 vaccines are developed for testing, including their safety and efficacy, must be communicated clearly to the public.

To prevent inequalities in uptake they argued it is crucial to understand and address factors that may affect COVID-19 vaccine acceptability in ethnic minorities and lower income groups who were disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Dr Paul Ettlinger
London General Practice

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