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Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination


Vaccination reduced the risk of infection during both the Alpha and Delta period. Two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine were more effective than one dose at preventing symptomatic infection. The booster vaccine provided over 90% protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged 50 years and over.

Two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine were estimated to be 96% and 92% effective against hospitalisation with the Delta variant, respectively.

Around 6 in 10 (58%) adults said children aged 12 to 15 years in their household are already vaccinated (Great Britain, 18 to 28 November 2021), up from 17% last month (6 to 17 October).

Official data updated daily on the number of people who have received a COVID-19 vaccination are available on the GOV.UK coronavirus dashboard.

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Vaccinations

Percentage testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies remained high across the UK

Modelled percentage of adults: who tested positive for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, who have reported to have received one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and two or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine; UK countries, 7 December 2020 to 20 November 2021

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An estimated 95.3% of the adult population in England, 93.9% in Wales, 91.6% in Northern Ireland and 95.0% in Scotland tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies in the week beginning 15 November 2021.

In the week beginning 15 November 2021, estimated vaccination rates remained high in England; 96.5% of adults had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 91.8% had received two or more doses. Vaccination estimates for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland require additional quality assurance so are not included this time. These vaccination estimates will differ from daily official government figures, which are actual numbers of vaccines recorded. 

Testing negative means that an individual did not have enough antibodies to be detected in the test, not that they do not have any immune protection against the virus. Please read our Antibodies and Immunity blog for more information.

Last updated: 08/12/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey: antibody data for the UK

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Around 9 in 10 (90%) students have said they had already been vaccinated against COVID-19 at least once. Less than 1 in 10 (8%) students said they had not been vaccinated. Of these, 38% said they were very or fairly likely to take a vaccine if offered and 40% said they were fairly or very unlikely to do so.

Students who received at least one vaccine dose were more likely to request a test if they developed symptoms (92%) than those unvaccinated (83%).

Last updated: 08/12/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and higher education students: England, 19 to 29 November 2021

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People that have previously had COVID-19 were less likely to be vaccinated

  • People that had been previously infected with COVID-19 (more than 120 days ago) were less likely to be vaccinated against it (3 to 30 October 2021). 

  • Among those aged 18 and 64 years, White adults were more likely to be vaccinated than adults from other ethnic groups.  

  • People aged 18 to 64 years who reported they were working were more likely to be vaccinated than those not working or employed but not currently working. 

  • Among working people aged 18 to 64 years, those working in hospitality, personal services or transport sectors were less likely to be vaccinated. 

  • Across all age groups, people living in more deprived areas were less likely to have received a vaccination against COVID-19. 

Last updated: 15/11/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey technical article: Analysis of characteristics associated with vaccination uptake

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Vaccine attitudes

Around 6 in 10 adults said children aged 12 to 15 years in their household are already vaccinated

Around 6 in 10 (58%) adults said children in their household had already received a COVID-19 vaccine (Great Britain, 18 to 28 November 2021), up from 17% last month (6 to 17 October). Another 27% of adults with a child aged 12 to 15 years living in their household said the child is very or fairly likely to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Last updated: 03/12/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain

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Most double-vaccinated adults would likely accept a booster COVID-19 vaccine

Around a third (34%) of adults report having had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination and a booster. Around 9 in 10 (90%) adults who have received two doses only would be likely or very likely to have a booster vaccine if offered (18 to 28 November 2021).

Around 1 in 20 (5%) were very unlikely or fairly unlikely to have the booster vaccine if offered. The most common reasons reported for being very or fairly unlikely to have the booster vaccine were:

  • thinking the first and second vaccine will be enough to keep safe (59%)

  • thinking the booster vaccine will not offer any extra protection (49%)

  • being worried about long-term effects on health (33%)

  • thinking the booster vaccine should be offered to others instead of themselves (22%)

Last updated: 03/12/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain

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Adults who previously declined a COVID-19 vaccine were less likely to have been vaccinated than those who were unsure

England, 7 to 16 September 2021

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Looking at all previously vaccine-hesitant adults, 44% were now vaccinated against COVID-19, while 55% remained unvaccinated. In comparison, 96% of all adults self-reported being vaccinated. These estimates are taken from a sample of adults, and may differ from the latest daily official government figures.

Adults who previously self-reported vaccine hesitancy are those who declined a vaccine (25%) or were unlikely (33%) or unsure (42%) about having a vaccine if offered. Among these groups, subsequent vaccine uptake was highest among those who were unsure (60%) and lowest among those who declined (21%).

Last updated: 09/11/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and changing attitudes towards vaccination, England

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Over half of previously vaccine-hesitant adults remain unvaccinated against COVID-19 (55%). Of this group, when asked about health-related reasons for this, 58% said they were worried about side effects, followed by long-term effects of the vaccine (54%) or not thinking that the vaccine was safe (32%).

Regarding trust-related reasons, the two most common reported were thinking the vaccine had been developed too quickly (55%) and wanting to wait to see how well the vaccine works (45%).

Looking at risk-related reasons, around one-third (34%) said that they did not feel at risk from coronavirus because of their good health. However, 40% reported “None of the above” in response to the list of risk-related reasons for remaining unvaccinated.

Last updated: 09/11/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and changing attitudes towards vaccination, England

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Just under one-fifth (19%) of those who remained unvaccinated against COVID-19 reported that wanting to protect others or themselves would motivate them to get a vaccine. However, a high proportion responded “None of the above” to reasons listed, suggesting that their reasons were not included in the survey or that this group’s concerns about the vaccine are deep-rooted.

Last updated: 09/11/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and changing attitudes towards vaccination, England

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Vaccines and compliance with guidance

Most double-vaccinated contacts of a positive case took a COVID-19 test

  • The majority (91%) of double-vaccinated respondents who had been in contact with a positive case reported they had taken a COVID-19 test (lateral flow or PCR) since being contacted by NHS Test and Trace or via the app (25 to 30 October 2021).

  • Of double-vaccinated respondents taking a test, 13% reported testing positive for COVID-19.

  • Around 2 in 3 (63%) double-vaccinated respondents reported taking additional measures beyond government recommendations to keep themselves and others safe.

  • Of those who received two vaccine doses, 82% did not develop symptoms, compared with 96% of those who also had a booster dose.

Last updated: 18/11/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and behaviour of the vaccinated population after being in contact with a positive case in England: 25 to 30 October 2021

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People were asked about their understanding of government guidance for double-vaccinated people who have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The majority (84%) said that double-vaccinated contacts should take a PCR test, but one-fifth (20%) said they should do nothing and carry on as usual.

Respondents were able to select more than one option so percentages in the chart will not sum to 100%.

Last updated: 18/11/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and behaviour of the vaccinated population after being in contact with a positive case in England: 25 to 30 October 2021

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Vaccine effectiveness

Booster vaccine provides over 90% protection against symptomatic COVID-19 infection in adults aged 50 years and over

Protection against symptomatic COVID-19 infection was at over 90% two weeks after receiving a booster vaccine, according to a study by UKHSA. Their analysis shows that in adults aged 50 years and over protection against symptomatic infection was 93.1% in those who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine initially and 94.0% for those who had received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine initially.

Last updated: 17/11/2021

Read more about this in Effectiveness of BNT162b2 COVID-19 booster vaccine against COVID-19 related symptoms in England

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Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine was associated with a decrease in the likelihood of self-reported long COVID

  • Receiving a first coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination was associated with an initial 13% decrease in the likelihood of self-reported long COVID (symptoms lasting for at least 12 weeks after first having COVID-19 that were not explained by something else), and a further 9% decrease after receiving the second vaccination (adults aged 18 to 69 years who were infected prior to vaccination, data to 5 September 2021).  

  • It is unclear from the data whether the initial improvement in symptoms after receiving the first vaccination was sustained over time until receiving the second vaccination; however, there was evidence of a sustained improvement after the second vaccination. 

  • There was no evidence of differences in trends of self-reported long COVID after vaccination between individuals who received the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, compared to Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. 

Last updated: 25/10/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination and self-reported long COVID in the UK

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Vaccination reduced the risk of testing positive during both the Alpha and Delta period

  • Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech reduced the risk of testing positive by 73% in the Delta period, compared with 80% in the Alpha period. 

  • Two doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca reduced the risk of testing positive by 62% in the Delta period, compared with 76% in the Alpha period. 

  • During the Delta period, two doses of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca provided a similar level of protection to previous natural infection. 

  • Two time periods were analysed: when the Alpha variant was dominant in the UK (1 December 2020 to 16 May 2021), and when the Delta variant was dominant (17 May 2021 to 14 August 2021)

Last updated: 18/10/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey technical article: Impact of vaccination on testing positive in the UK

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During the Delta period, two vaccination doses were more effective than one dose at preventing symptomatic infection

Modelled risk ratios of testing positive for COVID-19 reported symptoms and COVID-19 vaccine exposure, when the Delta variant was dominant, UK, 17 May to 14 August 2021

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Two doses of vaccination reduced the risk of symptomatic infection by 75%, compared with a 58% reduction in risk following one dose only (21 days or more previously). There was a similar reduction in risk of symptomatic infection from two vaccination doses and previous natural infection.

Last updated: 18/10/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey technical article: Impact of vaccination on testing positive in the UK

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Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines remained effective at preventing infection with the Delta variant

  • Two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca were 67% effective against infection with the Delta variant (79% with Alpha).

  • Two doses of Pfizer/BioNTech were 80% effective against infection with Delta (78% with Alpha).

  • While two doses of Pfizer/BioNTech were initially more effective, protection declined faster than with Oxford/AstraZeneca and they provided similar levels of protection after four to five months.

  • Both vaccines remained at least as effective as protection from prior natural infection.

  • Vaccine effectiveness was higher among younger adults and those who also had a prior natural infection.

Last updated: 19/08/2021

Read more about this in Impact of Delta on viral burden and vaccine effectiveness against new SARS-CoV-2 infections in the UK

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Two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine are estimated to be 96% and 92% effective against hospitalisation with the Delta variant, respectively

  • Vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic cases with the Delta variant is estimated to be 88% after both doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 67% after both doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

  • Two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are estimated to be 96% effective against hospitalisation with the Delta variant (94% after one dose) compared with 95% with the Alpha variant.

  • Two doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine are estimated to be 92% effective against hospitalisation with the Delta variant (71% after one dose) compared with 86% with the Alpha variant.

Last updated: 18/06/2021

Read more about this in Effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against hospital admission with the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant

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Further information


On this page we present vaccination estimates from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey and vaccine attitudes from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey. These are different from official vaccination records reported on GOV.UK coronavirus dashboard.

To find out more about vaccination data from different sources visit our more information page.

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Contact

Latest insights team
infection.survey.analysis@ons.gov.uk