SARS-CoV-2 vaccine uptake in a multi-ethnic UK healthcare workforce: A cross-sectional study
Healthcare workers (HCWs) and ethnic minority groups are at increased risk of COVID-19 infection and adverse outcomes. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination is now available for frontline UK HCWs; however, demographic/occupational associations with vaccine uptake in this cohort are unknown. We sought to establish these associations in a large UK hospital workforce.
Methods and findings
We conducted cross-sectional surveillance examining vaccine uptake amongst all staff at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. We examined proportions of vaccinated staff stratified by demographic factors, occupation, and previous COVID-19 test results (serology/PCR) and used logistic regression to identify predictors of vaccination status after adjustment for confounders. We included 19,044 HCWs; 12,278 (64.5%) had received SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Compared to White HCWs (70.9% vaccinated), a significantly smaller proportion of ethnic minority HCWs were vaccinated (South Asian, 58.5%; Black, 36.8%; p < 0.001 for both). After adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, deprivation, occupation, SARS-CoV-2 serology/PCR results, and COVID-19-related work absences, factors found to be negatively associated with vaccine uptake were younger age, female sex, increased deprivation, pregnancy, and belonging to any non-White ethnic group (Black: adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.30, 95% CI 0.26–0.34, p < 0.001; South Asian: aOR 0.67, 95% CI 0.62–0.72, p < 0.001). Those who had previously had confirmed COVID-19 (by PCR) were less likely to be vaccinated than those who had tested negative. Limitations include data being from a single centre, lack of data on staff vaccinated outside the hospital system, and that staff may have taken up vaccination following data extraction.
Ethnic minority HCWs and those from more deprived areas as well as younger staff and female staff are less likely to take up SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. These findings have major implications for the delivery of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination programmes, in HCWs and the wider population, and should inform the national vaccination programme to prevent the disparities of the pandemic from widening.