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Sociodemographic inequality in COVID-19 vaccination coverage amongst elderly adults in England: a national linked data study

By Vahe Nafilyan, Ted Dolby, Cameron Razieh, Charlotte Gaughan, Jasper Morgan, Daniel Ayoubkhani, A Sarah Walker, Kamlesh Khunti, Myer Glickman, Thomas Yates

Posted 17 May 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.05.13.21257146

Objective: To examine inequalities in COVID-19 vaccination rates amongst elderly adults in England Design: Cohort study Setting: People living in private households and communal establishments in England Participants: 6,829,643 adults aged 70 years or above (mean 78.7 years, 55.2% female) who were alive on 15 March 2021. Main outcome measures: Having received the first dose of a vaccine against COVID-19 by 15 March 2021. We calculated vaccination rates and estimated unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios using logistic regression models. Results: By 15 March 2021, 93.2% of people living in England aged 70 years and over had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. While vaccination rates differed across all factors considered apart from sex, the greatest disparities were seen between ethnic and religious groups. The lowest rates were in people of Black African and Black Caribbean ethnic backgrounds, where only 67.2% and 73.9% had received a vaccine, with adjusted odds of not being vaccinated at 5.01 (95% CI 4.86 - 5.16) and 4.85 (4.75 - 4.96) times greater than the White British group. The proportion of individuals self-identifying as Muslim and Buddhist who had received a vaccine was 79.1% and 84.1%, respectively. Older age, greater area deprivation, less advantaged socio-economic position (proxied by living in a rented home), being disabled and living either alone or in a multi-generational household were also associated with higher odds of not having received the vaccine. Conclusion: People disproportionately affected seem most hesitant to COVID-19 vaccinations. Policy Interventions to improve these disparities are urgently needed.

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