Covid vaccine take-up has been notably lower among health and care staff than among age-based groups to have been offered the injection, Matt Hancock has said, increasing concerns that this could hamper progress in tackling the virus.
While take-up was more than 90% among the first four age groups to have been offered at least a first injection – which include all those aged 70 and above – for NHS staff it was about 80%, and for care staff “around two-thirds”, the health and social care secretary said.
He did not specify whether the figures were for England or UK-wide, but as health policy is devolved, it is likely they are for England.
In a round of interviews after the news that the target of offering at least a first vaccination to all those in the top group groups seen as most vulnerable by Monday had been met in England, Hancock also stressed the government’s concern that take-up among black, Asian and minority ethnic health and care staff was lower than average.
A preliminary study by researchers in Leicester, details of which emerged on Sunday, found significant disparities among health staff over vaccination rates.
While 65% of the workers in the study had received at least one shot, the breakdown was 71% for white staff, 59% for south Asian workers, and 37% of black staff.