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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.

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. Deaths involving COVID-19 were consistently lower for people who have received two vaccinations.

Black or Black British adults and those living in more deprived areas (England only) were more likely to report vaccine hesitancy (23 June to 18 July 2021).

Official data updated daily on the number of people who have received a COVID-19 vaccination are collated by the UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) and are available on the GOV.UK coronavirus dashboard.

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Vaccine effectiveness

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

Modelled risk ratios of testing positive for COVID-19 by reported symptoms and COVID-19 vaccine exposure, when the Alpha variant was dominant, UK, 1 December 2020 to 16 May 2021

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Two doses of vaccination reduced the risk of symptomatic infection by 95%, compared with a 72% reduction in risk following one dose only (21 days or more previously). The reduction in risk of symptomatic infection was greater from two vaccine doses than from previous natural infection (75% risk reduction).

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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Deaths involving COVID-19 are consistently lower for people who have received two vaccinations

Weekly age-standardised mortality rates for deaths involving COVID-19 by vaccination status, England, deaths occurring between Week 1 (week ending 8 January 2021) and Week 26 (week ending 2 July 2021)

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There were 640 deaths involving COVID-19 in people who had received both vaccine doses (England, 2 January to 2 July 2021). This accounts for 1.2% of all deaths involving COVID-19 in that period (51,281 deaths). In people who received their second dose at least 21 days before date of death, deaths involving COVID-19 accounted for 0.8% of all deaths. This compares with 37.4% of all deaths in unvaccinated individuals. Some deaths are expected in vaccinated individuals as the number of people who are vaccinated is high and no vaccine is 100% effective.

Weekly age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) for deaths involving COVID-19 are lower for people who received two vaccine doses than those who received one dose or were unvaccinated. ASMRs account for differences in population size and age of the vaccination status groups over time.

Last updated: 13/09/2021 

Read more about this in Deaths involving COVID-19 by vaccination status, England: deaths occurring between 2 January and 2 July 2021 

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Vaccinations

Around seven in ten adults with a child aged between 12 and 15 years in their household reported the child is likely to receive a COVID-19 vaccine

In Great Britain (22 September to 3 October 2021), around seven in ten (71%) adults with a child aged between 12 and 15 years in their household said the child is very likely or fairly likely to receive a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Last updated: 08/10/2021

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

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Across all four UK countries, there is a clear pattern between vaccination and testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies

Modelled percentage of adults: who tested positive for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, who have received one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and who were fully vaccinated; UK countries, 7 December 2020 to 29 August 2021

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An estimated 93.6% of the adult population in England, 91.2% in Wales, 91.9% in Northern Ireland and 93.3% in Scotland tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies in the week beginning 23 August 2021. The presence of antibodies suggests a person previously had COVID-19 or has been vaccinated.

Estimated vaccination rates remained high or continued to increase in the week beginning 23 August 2021. Across the four UK countries, 92.7% to 94.1% had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 81.7% to 86.7% were fully vaccinated. These vaccination estimates will differ from daily official government figures, which are actual numbers of vaccines recorded. 

Last updated: 16/09/2021

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

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Vaccine attitudes

Vaccine hesitancy among young comes from worry about vaccine and belief it’s not needed

In June 2021:

  • Reasons for vaccine hesitancy among young people included distrust of the vaccine (safety and content); distrust of government and of those encouraging vaccine take up; concern about side effects (including on fertility); and the belief it was unnecessary for those at low risk of harm from the virus.

  • Vaccine hesitancy appeared to be influenced by media, experiences of others having the vaccine, and opinions of those in close social networks.

  • Attitudes towards vaccine passports were mixed; their use would encourage some but discourage others.

  • Willingness to be vaccinated in the future would depend on availability of more information and research, particularly into long-term side effects.

These findings are from a small sample of young adults (aged 16 to 29) who had indicated they were “fairly unlikely” or “very unlikely” to get a COVID-19 vaccine in the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey. The study used a pilot methodological approach and findings are not generalisable to wider populations.

Last updated: 03/09/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and vaccine hesitancy in young adults: June 2021

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Most parents would be likely to accept a COVID-19 vaccine for their child

21 May to 22 June 2021, England

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Around 86% of parents of primary and secondary school children reported they would definitely or probably say yes to them having a COVID-19 vaccine. Around 4 in 10 primary school parents (40%) and over 5 in 10 secondary school parents (54%) would definitely want their child to have a COVID-19 vaccine. In comparison, 3% of primary school parents and 6% of secondary school parents said they would definitely not want their child to have a vaccine.

Last updated: 11/08/2021

Read more about this in COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey Round 6, England: June 2021

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There has been a widespread fall in vaccine hesitancy so far in 2021

Percentage of adults reporting vaccine hesitancy, Great Britain, 28 April to 18 July 2021 compared with 7 January to 28 March 2021

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At a subregional level, most areas have seen a fall in vaccine hesitancy so far in 2021, however, local variation remains. In line with trends observed across Great Britain as a whole, young adults, those of Black or Black British ethnicity, the unemployed, and those living in deprived areas (England only) are generally the most hesitant towards vaccines across all English regions, Scotland and Wales. The highest rates of hesitancy among these groups are generally seen in London and the Midlands.

Last updated: 09/08/2021

Read more about Coronavirus vaccine hesitancy falling across the regions and countries of Great Britain

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Adults living in the most deprived areas were more likely to report vaccine hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy based on Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), England, 23 June to 18 July 2021

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Adults living in the most deprived areas of England were four times as likely to report vaccine hesitancy (8%) than adults living in the least deprived areas (2%).

Last updated: 09/08/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and vaccine hesitancy, Great Britain

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Vaccines and ethnicity

Vaccine hesitancy is around five times higher among Black or Black British adults compared with White adults

Great Britain, 23 June to 18 July 2021

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Black or Black British adults were most likely to report vaccine hesitancy compared with White adults. Around 1 in 5 (21%) Black or Black British adults reported vaccine hesitancy, compared with 4% of White adults (23 June to 18 July 2021).

Vaccine hesitancy refers to those who have either declined a COVID-19 vaccine offer, report being unlikely to accept a vaccine or report being undecided.

Last updated: 09/08/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and vaccine hesitancy, Great Britain

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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