Addressing Health Inequalities – The Greater Manchester vaccine equity project
Greater Manchester Care Record (GMCR) joins up information from various NHS and care services to support healthcare professionals and other frontline workers across all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs.
Covering the city region’s 2.8 million residents, it is a major research asset, and is supported by researchers from our Informatics and Data Sciences Cross-Cutting Theme.
Using data from GMCR, researchers looked for differences in uptake of COVID-19 and seasonal flu vaccines between groups of people of different ethnicities in Greater Manchester.
They found wide inequalities in COVID-19 vaccine uptake among different minority ethnic groups, with uptake particularly low in Arab, Black African, Black Caribbean, and other Black or Black British communities. Inequalities between ethnic groups were also far wider in COVID-19 vaccination than previously seen for seasonal flu vaccination.
A researcher perspective:
“Our research found wide inequalities in COVID-19 vaccine uptake among minority ethnic groups, with uptake particularly low in Arab, Black African, Black Caribbean, and other Black or Black British groups. Discussion groups with diverse members of the local community revealed mistrust stemming from racism, culturally insensitive healthcare, and awareness of previous unethical healthcare research may have contributed to lower uptake. Inequalities between ethnic groups were also far wider in COVID-19 vaccination than previously seen for seasonal flu vaccination. Further research and community engagement is needed to build trust and confidence among minority ethnic communities, and to better understand and remove barriers to vaccine access.”
Dr Ruth Watkinson, Research Fellow,
NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Greater Manchester (ARC-GM)
A participant perspective:
“What was especially interesting was the clear differences in vaccine uptake within different ethnic minority groups and communities within the broader widely used classifications. For example, there were wide inequalities between people from other White backgrounds compared to White British people, and important differences in vaccine uptake between several ethnic minority groups often grouped together as ‘Asian’. “Once the more special requirements of some of our communities were recognised and responded to by the NHS, their vaccine take up was greatly increased.”
Public Contributor and member of the project advisory group