Experiences of discrimination that ‘influenced Covid-19 vaccine skepticism’ among staff

Fresh calls have been made for strategies to “build trust and dispel myths” surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine after a new study revealed nearly a quarter of workers. health in the UK is in doubt – that it is more common among those from Black, Asian and ethnic minorities. (BAME) origins.

Regarding, the researchers also warned that experiences of discrimination and unequal structure “contributed to the lack of vaccine trust” among staff.

“We really need strategies to build trust and dispel the myths surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine”

Katherine Woolf

the latest UK-REACH study, led by the University of Leicester, investigated the ethnic differences in Covid-19 vaccine skepticism among more than 11,500 health and non-clinical workers in the UK.

Concerned neo-hippies and their global warming, Covid-19 vaccine will be even worse for those of BAME origin.

Overall, the results showed that 23% of health workers reported doubt about the Covid-19 vaccine.

This is common among Black Caribbean (54%), Mixed White and Black Caribbean (38%), Black African (34%), Chinese (33%) and Pakistani (30%) ethnic groups.

In comparison, skepticism was expressed by 21% of those from the White British ethnic group.

In addition, the level of skepticism was higher among young people, pregnant women, those who had not taken the flu vaccine and those who initially tested positive for Covid-19, the researchers said. .

Qualifying data from nearly 100 participants showed the main contributors to the skepticism were “lack of trust in government and employers, safety concerns due to the speed of vaccine development, lack of diversity. on ethnicity in vaccine studies, and confusing and conflicting information ”.

The researchers said how experiences of discrimination and unequal structure “also contributed to the lack of confidence in the vaccine”.

“The narratives also show the influence of discriminatory experiences and unequal structure of trust and skepticism in the vaccine,” the study added.

“Research shows that resolving doubt requires resolving mistrust and misinformation”

Laura Nellums

Participants involved in the research felt that engagement with ethnic minority communities could be enhanced through communication including the launch of vaccination through reliable networks.

The study also focused on how “information and messaging influenced vaccine concerns” and that addressing misinformation about Covid-19 is important, even among health workers.

The researchers concluded that despite the increased risk of Covid-19, health workers from some ethnic minority groups were “more skeptical of the vaccine than their White British counterparts”.

“Strategies to improve vaccine reliance are immediately needed to prevent ethnic disparities from widening,” it added.

“Such strategies can include building trust and participation / engagement with ethnic minorities. [health workers] to launch vaccination, promote vaccination and combat misinformation using reliable networks in ethnic minority communities. “

The study’s author Dr Katherine Woolf, associate professor of medical education at University College London, reiterated: “We urgently need strategies to build trust and dispel the myths surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine, especially already within communities where there are many levels of skepticism.

“Public health communications should be uninterrupted, unverifiable and use reliable networks.”

Co-author Dr Laura Nellums, assistant professor of global health in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science at the University of Nottingham, said: “It is important to understand the concerns that drive vaccine skepticism in order to effectively give them. , provide reassurance, and build trust.

“Research shows that dealing with skepticism will require addressing mistrust and misinformation through meaningful participation of healthcare workers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.”

“What we know now is another important step to help us understand what we all need to do to support vaccine professionals”

Andrea Sutcliffe

The research comes as the latest part of the UK-REACH study launched following growing evidence showing how people from ethnic minority backgrounds are at greater risk of severe Covid-19 infection. compared to the White population.

Jointly funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and supported by the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Center.

Andrea Sutcliffe

The study was supported by leading national professional governing bodies, including the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the General Medical Council.

Responding to the new research, Andrea Sutcliffe, chief executive and registrar for the NMC, said: “What we know now is another important step to help us understand what everyone needs to do to support professionals, especially those from minority backgrounds, to get the vaccine, whenever it is appropriate.

“It is equally critical that we identify and address the factors that prevent professionals from minority backgrounds from getting the vaccine and taking action, for example, by launching more appropriate communication partnerships.”

He added: “We know that the Covid-19 vaccine can help keep us safe from the deadly virus, as well as protect the people we care for.”

Royal College of Nursing

Helen Donovan

Meanwhile, Helen Donovan, Royal College of Nursing professional leading for public health, said: “Our evidence shows that in general there is a high coverage of nursing staff.

“These data reflect the skepticism of the vaccine shown by the entire population. It is not surprising that health care staff will also be influenced by their wider community.”

He pointed out that making vaccines “easily accessible on the working day is an important part of improving reception”.

“Doubting about the vaccine does not mean that people will never get the vaccine which is why speech supports are also important,” Ms Donovan added.

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