COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance among Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Individuals in the North East and North Cumbria: Final Report

Judith Eberhardt, Jonathan Ling

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Despite the overall high COVID-19 vaccine uptake in the United Kingdom, there are parts of the population who are either hesitant towards the vaccine or refuse to take it. In particular, uptake among Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals has been lower than in the general population. However, no published research has examined psychological factors contributing to vaccine hesitancy in BAME individuals, nor looked at the role of coronavirus conspiracy beliefs. Successful interventions and campaigns to increase COVID-19 vaccination uptake in BAME communities need to be designed with such factors in mind. The present study aimed to determine psychological predictors of COVID-19 vaccination intention in BAME individuals, using Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) and coronavirus conspiracy beliefs, in addition to established demographic variables. Data were collected using an online survey. In total 1061 participants submitted responses, of whom 67 were BAME individuals (12 males, 52 females, 2 non-binary/third gender, and 1 preferred not to state their gender). They completed the survey assessing PMT constructs, coronavirus conspiracy beliefs, and demographic factors, between May and August 2021. Of the BAME participants, 44 (65.7%) were vaccinated for COVID-19 and 23 (34.3%) were unvaccinated. The mean age was 36.19 (SD = 9.73). Hierarchical multiple regression showed that perceived susceptibility to COVID-19 was a significant predictor of vaccination intention, with higher levels of perceived susceptibility being associated with higher levels of vaccination intention. Furthermore, an independent t-test revealed that unvaccinated individuals had significantly higher levels of coronavirus conspiracy beliefs than vaccinated ones. Thematic analysis of free-text responses showed that respondents had both negative and positive attitudes towards and beliefs about the vaccine. Based on these findings, we recommend that campaigns and interventions addressing COVID-19 vaccine uptake in BAME individuals target perceived susceptibility and conspiracy beliefs, using clear, unambiguous messaging. Further work is needed to examine hesitancy towards other vaccines in BAME communities, using social cognitive models of behaviour such as PMT.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyNIHR Clinical Research Network North East & North Cumbria (CRN:NENC)
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


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