Public Health Wales report analyses inequalities in COVID-19 vaccination uptake in Wales

Written by on 18th February 2021

Public Health Wales has produced a report analysing inequalities in coverage of COVID-19 vaccination by sex, socioeconomic deprivation and ethnic group.

Mirroring a trend across the UK the report, which covers the period from 8th December 2020 up to 14th February 2021, highlights emerging inequalities in coverage of COVID-19 vaccination in Wales.

The report found that the largest inequality in uptake was seen between ethnic groups in adults aged 80+ years. Uptake for the combined Black, Asian, Mixed and Other ethnic groups in this age-group was 71.5 per cent compared to 85.6 per cent in the White ethnic group, a gap of 14.1 per cent.

Inequalities were also apparent between adults living in the most and least deprived areas of Wales. In older adults, the inequality gap between those living in the most deprived and least deprived quintiles of areas in Wales was 5.7 per cent, 4.4 per cent and 5.2 per cent for adults aged 80y and older, 75 to 79 and 70 to 74 years respectively.

Dr Richard Roberts, Head of the Vaccine Preventable Diseases Programme at Public Health Wales said:

“As Wales continues its journey to roll out the national COVID-19 vaccination programme, we can see from this report that vaccination uptake is currently lower in groups who are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes.

“The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is being confirmed by the experience of millions of people vaccinated in the UK so far, and it is important for all communities in Wales to be fully informed about the benefits of vaccination.

“We also want to ensure that eligible people in Wales are aware that, even if they have had initial concerns, they can still access COVID-19 vaccination now or at a later time.”

Dr Simon Cottrell, Senior Principal Epidemiologist at Public Health Wales said:

“The reasons for these differences in uptake may relate to individual, community or service characteristics but at this stage of the programme, coverage figures are not final and there remains opportunity to reduce inequalities.

“We will continue to monitor and report on uptake rates as the COVID-19 vaccination programme continues to be rolled out.”

Vaccination data are sourced from the COVID-19 Welsh Immunisation System (WIS). Paper records may still need to be entered at the time of data extraction and reporting. Actual numbers vaccinated will be higher and updated in future reports. Data are undergoing continuous quality assurance and may change in the future.

The full report has been published on the Public Health Wales data dashboard today.

Current track