Summary of report content
Healthwatch Bexley carried out research into COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy. They collected the views of 675 residents through a survey which ran from 15th December 2020 to 11th January 2021. They also virtually attended group meetings for residents with a learning disability, a Nepalese Community Group and worked with a homeless shelter provider to discuss vaccination hesitancy, they reached over 40 people this way.
The majority of residents who completed the survey wanted to be vaccinated or had already been vaccinated. However, approximately half of the unvaccinated residents do not feel they are at risk of catching COVID-19. Common concerns raised were around vaccine safety, effectiveness, make-up and long-term effects, with residents wanting more information or to talk to their GP before agreeing to vaccination.
On the basis of this research Healthwatch Bexley recommends that communication and engagement from the London Borough of Bexley, South East London Clinical Commissioning Group and local partners should continue during the COVID-19 vaccination program to address vaccine hesitancy and address the following: commonly asked questions, fear and confusion based on media stories and social, religions or cultural beliefs. The reasons residents have the vaccine, framed in a positive way. Resident’s perceived perception of their risk of COVID-19 such as following government guidelines being enough protection. How herd immunity works in protection the population and promoting a collective approach and a sense of duty rather than a personal approach.