SCA worked with colleagues from the Institute of Development Studies on a piece of research about vaccine hesitancy amongst young people.
Despite progress in COVID-19 vaccination rates overall in Ealing, vaccine inequity persists as young people from minority communities are often less likely to be vaccinated. COVID-19 ‘vaccine hesitancy’ was found not just to be an issue of misinformation or lack of information but was also reflective of wider issues such as mistrust in the state or the medical establishment and negative experiences during the pandemic.
The research report was produced with the excellent input of Megan Schmidt-Sane, Tabitha Hrynick and Santiago Ripoli and its key report findings were that :
· Discourses on “vaccine hesitancy” may not capture the full range of youth attitudes but may inadvertently label youth as ignorant and uneducated.
· Not all young people are COVID-19 vaccine hesitant, but instead vaccination uptake is patterned by age, experiences of deprivation, and family and peer influence.
· Young people reported experiences of racism and negative interactions with police. This may contribute to a sense of mistrust in the “system.”
· Youth “vaccine hesitancy” is not just an individual phenomenon, but it depends on a young person’s experience of local history, political-economy, and social contex