Coronavirus and vaccine hesitancy, Great Britain: 31 March to 25 April 2021

Hesitancy towards the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, based on the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period 31 March to 25 April 2021.

This is the latest release. View previous releases

Contact:
Email Tim Vizard, Bonang Lewis, Caleb Ogwuru and Kishan Thakar

Release date:
6 May 2021

Next release:
To be announced

1. Main points

In the latest period, 31 March to 25 April 2021, based on adults in Great Britain, we found:

  • more than 9 in 10 (93%) adults reported positive sentiment towards the vaccine, while 7% of adults reported vaccine hesitancy

  • vaccine hesitancy has remained relatively stable, 7% compared with 6% in the previous period (17 February to 14 March 2021), however this is a decrease from 9% earlier in the year (13 January to 7 February 2021); with this trend observed across most groups

  • around 1 in 8 (13%) adults aged 16 to 29 years reported vaccine hesitancy, the highest of all age groups

  • around 1 in 3 (30%) Black or Black British adults reported vaccine hesitancy, the highest compared with all ethnic groups

  • around 1 in 8 (12%) adults in the most deprived areas of England (based on Index of Multiple Deprivation) reported higher vaccine hesitancy, compared with 4% of adults in the least deprived areas of England

  • "long-term effects on health", "side effects" and "how well the vaccine works" were the top three reasons for reporting negative sentiment towards the vaccine

!

The estimates are from a sample of adults and may differ from the latest official data on the number of adults who have received the COVID-19 vaccination. It does not include adults living in care homes or other establishments.

Embed code

Back to table of contents

2. Coronavirus and vaccine hesitancy data

Coronavirus and vaccine hesitancy, Great Britain
Dataset | Released 6 May 2021
Estimates of vaccine sentiment with breakdowns by different population groups. Analysis based on the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN).

Back to table of contents

3. Measuring the data

Vaccine sentiment

"Vaccine hesitancy" refers to adults who:

  • have been offered the vaccine and decided not to be vaccinated

  • report being very or fairly unlikely to have the vaccine if offered

  • responded "neither likely nor unlikely", "don't know" or "prefer not to say" to the question "if a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19) was offered to you, how likely or unlikely would you be to have the vaccine?"

It should be noted that a small number of respondents reported "prefer not to say". This response is considered to represent those unsure about the vaccine.

"Positive sentiment" refers to adults who:

  • have received the vaccine

  • have been offered the vaccine and waiting to be vaccinated

  • report being very or fairly likely to have the vaccine if offered

When considering the reasons for not having or wanting the vaccine, the base population is that who reports negative sentiment.

"Negative sentiment" refers to adults who:

  • have been offered the vaccine and decided not to be vaccinated

  • report being very or fairly unlikely to have the vaccine if offered

Our survey does not include adults living in care homes or other establishments so will not capture vaccinations in these settings. Owing to small sample sizes, the percentage of adults who have declined the vaccine should be treated with caution.

Opinions and Lifestyle Survey

This release contains data and indicators from a module being undertaken through the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on British society.

Where differences between groups are presented in this bulletin, associated confidence intervals, which are included in the accompanying datasets, indicate their significance.

The analysis presented in this bulletin is an update to analysis published on 8 March (covering the period 13 January to 7 February 2021) and 1 April (covering period 17 February to 14 March 2021). Comparisons with data from these previous periods should be made using estimates in the accompanying datasets, which include confidence intervals to indicate whether the differences are significant.

Sampling and weighting

This analysis is based on pooled data, which comprises four waves of data collection covering the following periods: 31 March to 4 April, 7 to 11 April, 14 to 18 April, and 21 to 25 April 2021, and included 16,362 adults aged 16 years and over in Great Britain. Pooling four waves of data together increases sample sizes, allowing us to explore vaccine sentiment for different groups of the population.

Survey weights were applied to make estimates representative of the population (based on April 2021 population estimates).

Further information on the survey design and quality can be found in the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey Quality and Methodology Information

Back to table of contents

Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Tim Vizard, Bonang Lewis, Caleb Ogwuru and Kishan Thakar
policy.evidence.analysis@ons.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)300 0671543