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15 March 2021

The Coalition for Personalised Care (C4PC) has released a report identifying key issues in tackling COVID vaccine hesitancy and reluctance.

The report, Health Inequalities, the Covid Vaccination & Community-Centred Approaches’, was produced following a Roundtable event chaired by Clenton Farquharson MBE and attended by 50 people from a wide range of healthcare and lived experience backgrounds.

It is hoped that the insight gathered will improve understanding within the NHS, Department of Health and Social Care and Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government of how best to influence vaccine take-up.

The report unpacks some of the most pervasive issues leading to low vaccine take-up in certain groups across the UK and, importantly, highlights ways to overcome the most prevalent barriers to health equality. They can broadly be summarised as:

    • More robust, granular data, better collated holistically, and applied to the particular circumstances of minority groups can improve understanding of the actual situation on the ground and of what works best;
    • Targeted local approaches actively supported by the NHS, could overcome the barriers and could improve our understanding of differing needs and of the complexity of the wider, social determinants of health inequality; and
    • Effective community engagement and empowerment to overcome mistrust and foster greater co-production of local solutions which can be more effective than top-down national approaches, that do not recognise past history which has entrenched mistrust for some.

Kim Ryley, Co-Chair of C4PC, said: “The strength of the coalition is in bringing people from a diverse range of backgrounds together, to provide insight and understanding into complex issues within health and social care in a way which can influence strategy, policy and procedure in real-time.

“The Roundtable event revealed the complexity of issues which are creating vaccine hesitancy and reluctance, ranging from the speed of the roll out, through to decades of structural discrimination, which has left particular groups with high levels of mistrust.

“This report gives practical recommendations which can be acted upon to help tackle this issue in light of the vaccine programme and we, as a partnership, will continue to address health inequalities in their broadest sense through our ongoing workstream focussed on this topic.”