Flu jab offer ‘would be rejected by one in four’ amid low uptake concern

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The report also found those in lower income jobs were more likely not to get a flu jab (27 per cent compared with 20 per cent from higher incomes).

According to the poll, British adults in lower income occupations were: 

-More likely to trust low quality information sources such as chat rooms and forums (19 per cent to 12 per cent)

-Less likely to feel safe in public spaces in the context of Covid-19 (55 per cent to 65 per cent)

-More likely if reluctant to take up the flu jab to say the experience of Covid-19 was a key reason why they were not likely to get vaccinated (25 per cent to 14 per cent). 

Across the whole cohort who did not want to take the flu jab, a “small but sizeable” minority said work commitments were a barrier to uptake – particularly among younger people.

The report authors recommend that employers should enhance vaccine accessibility for staff, and enshrine a legal right to time off for vaccination and sick pay in the event of side effects.

They also call for a permanent health disinformation unit aimed at young people, run by the Department of Health and Social Care, and Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The joint venture could deploy new technologies to combat the spread of misinformation online, the authors said.

Efua Poku-Amanfo, IPPR researcher and lead author of the report, said: “Vaccines are recognised as one of the most effective and cost-efficient health interventions ever created and save millions of lives every year, with over 100,000 deaths in the UK prevented by the Covid-19 vaccine in its first nine months.

“We must continue to harness vaccine’s preventative potential in UK health policy, but their benefits are at risk due to vaccine inequality. People on low incomes or from marginalised backgrounds are more likely to face barriers to taking up vaccinations. The Government must learn the lessons from the pandemic and focus on structural solutions to tackle vaccine inequality.”

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