Background Covid-19 vaccination is an effective strategy to reduce the spread of infection and achieve herd immunity. However, evidence suggests that both vaccine uptake and intention to vaccinate differ amongst population groups. Vaccine hesitancy is highest amongst specific ethnic minority groups. There is currently no qualitative study of the barriers and facilitators to covid-19 vaccine uptake in BAME groups in the UK primary care.
Methods We aim to conduct in-depth telephone interviews using semi-structured, open-ended questions about covid-19 vaccination in patients from South Asian (Bangladeshi/Pakistani) and Black African/African-Caribbean ethnicities in primary care in March 2021. Patients will be recruited using purposive sampling in 5 socially and ethnically diverse general practices in London. Interviews will be transcribed verbatim and subjected to thematic analysis. Data on age, sex, occupation, co-morbidities, previous vaccination status, geographical location, country of birth, education level will be also be obtained. Patients will be selected through EMIS search. All adults over 18 who are eligible for covid-19 vaccination regardless of priority status and can consent will be included in the study. Questions will relate to desire to take the vaccine, barriers and potential factors that would change their view and decision-making.
Results We hypothesise that covid-19 vaccine hesitancy will be associated with deprivation, lower educational attainment, residential segregation, previous negative healthcare experiences, and poor trust of healthcare services. Other barriers and potential solutions will be explored in depth during the interview.
Conclusion Covid-19 has had a disproportionate impact on ethnic minority groups with much higher mortality, and cases and hospitalisation rates compared to the White populations. Vaccination is an effective strategy in mitigating the risk. We need to understand the factors that cause vaccine reluctance, hesitancy and refusal, and how to facilitate engagement with vaccination programmes. This primary-care based study could help plan targeted public health campaigns to increase covid-19 vaccine uptake.
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