An estimated two out of five (41%) over 80s who had received the first dose of a vaccine less than three weeks ago reported they had met someone other than a household member, care worker or member of their support bubble, indoors; this appears to contradict lockdown regulations.
A quarter (25%) of over 80s who had only received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination reported that they would be much or somewhat more likely to attend a hospital for medical reasons since being vaccinated; this increased to one-third (33%) for those who had received both doses.
Almost half (49%) of over 80s perceived the coronavirus to be a major or significant risk to them personally without vaccination; this decreased to 5% if they were to receive both doses of the vaccine.
Of over 80s who had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 41% had experienced side effects.
Of those who had experienced side effects and were still awaiting their second dose of a vaccine, 63% said the side effects would not affect their decision to get the second dose, and 35% were more likely to get the second dose.
Around 19 out of 20 over 80s (96%) would be very or somewhat likely to encourage others to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
“The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination is, no doubt, a huge relief to many people aged over 80, as we can see that almost half of all them, when asked, considered COVID-19 to be a major or significant personal risk before receiving the vaccination – this decreases to just 5% having the same concern after hypothetically receiving both doses of the vaccine.
“It will hopefully also improve a wider quality of life for this group. We can see that one third of over 80s who had received two or more doses of the vaccine reported they would be more likely to attend a hospital for a medical reason since being vaccinated.
“We hope to start to see these wider positive effects of the vaccine rollout as it continues across more age groups in the coming weeks.”
Tim Gibbs, Public Services Analysis Team, Office for National Statistics
Follow the Public Services Analysis team on Twitter: @HughStickBack to table of contents
From 5 January 2021, the UK government announced a national lockdown for England, with schools shut, non-essential shops closed, and the population asked to work from home where possible, and to only leave their houses for exercise and essentials. Guidance advised it was against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.
A support bubble is a group of two households that join together and can then act as one household. People need to meet certain eligibility criteria to form a support bubble. Individuals that are eligible to form a support bubble include those who live alone (even if carers visit to provide support) and those who are the only adult in a household who does not need continuous care as a result of a disability. The full guidance can be viewed in Making a support bubble with another household.
Vaccinations against the coronavirus (COVID-19) were initially introduced for the people most at risk of COVID-19, including those who are aged 80 years and over. The vaccine is given as an injection and requires two doses; the second dose is given between 3 and 12 weeks after the initial injection.
Approved vaccines in the UK are Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca (also known as the Oxford vaccine) and Moderna vaccine. For more information on vaccines see NHS information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
It is possible to have taken part in clinical trials for the development of COVID-19 vaccines. In some trials, participants may have received more than two doses of the vaccine. We do not ask whether a respondent received their vaccine as part of a clinical trial.Back to table of contents
The Over 80s Vaccines Insights Study was compiled rapidly in response to policy questions on whether being vaccinated against the coronavirus (COVID-19) was changing peoples’ behaviour and adherence to guidance or attitudes to risk. It was produced, run and analysed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This survey was specifically designed to obtain information on people aged 80 years and over, as they were likely to have been offered, or to have received a COVID-19 vaccination. As with all surveys, the estimates included in this bulletin have an associated margin of error.
The survey respondents were selected using implicit stratification from a list of individuals aged 80 years and over, from the Personal Demographic Service (PDS) provided by NHS Digital, and were contacted by telephone. We would like to thank and acknowledge the important role NHS Digital had in conducting this survey.
This is the first bulletin with the survey in its current format and using the current data collection methodology. We would welcome feedback on this publication to inform our future workplans.
Estimates for Wave 1
The first wave of data was collected between 15 February and 20 February 2021. The sample size was 2,070 out of an estimated population of 2,837,000 over 80s in England (based on Mid-2019 population estimates) and survey weighting was used to weight the sample estimates to provide estimates for the population of over 80s. The estimates were weighted, adjusting for:
All answers are self-reported. Approximately 1% of respondents to the survey were residing in a care or nursing home.Back to table of contents
The main strengths of the Over 80s Vaccines Insights Study include:
- it allows for timely production of data and statistics that can respond quickly to changing needs
- robust methods are adopted for the survey's sampling and weighting strategies to limit the impact of bias
- quality assurance procedures are undertaken throughout the analysis stages to minimise the risk of error
The main limitations of the Over 80s Vaccines Insights Study include:
- because of the limited period in which fieldwork took place, it is difficult to reach a large number of people and therefore the overall sample size for the survey is limited
- as with all surveys, these estimates have an associated margin of error; they are based on a sample of people aged 80 years and over, which is weighted to be representative of the whole over 80s population
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
Telephone: +44 (0) 1329 44 7719