Black-Caribbean Britons least likely to be boosted against Covid

Black-Caribbean Britons are ethnic group least likely to be triple-jabbed against Covid while just 40 per cent of Muslims have had their booster in England, latest figures show

  • ONS data shows 68.4% of white Brits were triple-jabbed by New Year’s Eve 
  • Just a third of black-Caribbean adults have had a third Covid vaccine dose 
  • Jews had the highest uptake of any religious group with 70.5% boosted 

Black-Caribbean people are the least likely ethnic group to have had a Covid booster vaccine in England, official data shows.

Just a third of adults in the group (33.9 per cent) had received a third dose by New Year’s Eve, according to the Office for National Statistics. 

White people were the most likely, with two-thirds (68.4 per cent) triple-jabbed by the same date. 

Meanwhile, Muslims had the lowest rate of any religious group (40 per cent) and Jewish people had the highest (70.5 per cent). 

Experts fear low uptake of the jabs in black and ethnic minority groups will continue to see those communities disproportionately affected by the virus.

The data also looked at the vaccine status of people aged 40 to 65 based on their  occupation. It showed health professionals in this age group had the highest uptake of any job (83.3 per cent). 

All NHS staff in England are required to get their first dose by February 3 or they will be sacked or redeployed as part of the controversial move. A booster will not be required. 

Health and social care workers, which includes care home staff, were 11th in terms of most jabbed occupations, with 73.9 per cent aged 40-65 triple-jabbed.

This was despite the ‘no jab, no job’ rule coming into force in the sector in November for all frontline health and social care workers.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show just a third of black-Caribbean adults had received a third Covid vaccine dose by New Year’s Eve, the latest date data is available for. For comparison, white Brits had the highest proportion boosted, with 68.4 per cent triple-jabbed by the same date — more than double the proportion

 Muslims had the lowest rate of any religious group (40 per cent) and Jews had the highest (70.5 per cent)

The data also showed health professionals had the highest uptake of any job (80.3 per cent). All NHS staff in England are required to get their first dose by February 3 or risk losing their jobs

Experts fear low uptake of the jabs in black and ethnic minority groups will continue to see those communities disproportionately affected by the virus. Pictured: Masud Ahmad, 79, receives his first vaccine dose in Al Abbas Mosque, Birmingham, last January

Covid outbreaks fell in all of England’s 150 local authorities last week, according to official data which illustrate how the Omicron wave is fizzling out.

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) bosses confirmed infection rates fell by at least 12 per cent in every council area of the country during the week up to January 16.

The sharpest drop off was in Wigan, which saw its case rate fall 59 per cent from 2,121 positive tests per 100,000 people in the previous seven-day spell to 867 per 100,000.

Meanwhile, King’s College London scientists estimated 144,527 people were catching the virus on any given day in Britain in the week to January 17, down a fifth on the previous week. 

Outbreaks are shrinking in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as every region of England, while cases are falling in every age group except under-18s because of the ‘back to school’ effect, the survey found.

Both findings are in line with the Office for National Statistics’ weekly infection survey, which also found Covid cases plunged in England by a fifth last week.

Professor Tim Spector, who leads the symptom study, heralded the encouraging trend but urged the nation to be ‘sensible’ because cases remained high.  

Overall, 36.7million third doses have now been dished out across the UK, with 80 per cent of eligible people fully protected against the virus.

Britain’s rapid rollout – which has reached more people than any other country in Europe – has been credited as one of the main causes of its low hospital and death numbers.

The ONS data shows the second lowest uptake among ethnic groups was in Pakistanis, with only 37.8 per cent of the group getting a booster.

They were followed by black African Brits (37.9 per cent) and people of Bangladeshi origin (46.4 per cent).

Indian Brits had the second highest uptake of any group, with 65.3 per cent receiving their third jab by the end of the year. 

Hindus had the second highest uptake numbers (70 per cent) of religious groups, followed by Christians (66.9 per cent), atheists (65 per cent) and Sikhs (62 per cent). 

Third vaccination coverage was higher among people whose main language was English (66.6 per cent) than those who did not have English as their main language (45.5 per cent). 

Poorer people were more likely to be triple-jabbed than the wealthy.  

Seven in 10 (73 per cent) of people living in the least deprived areas in the country have had a booster, compared to 54.3 per cent in the most deprived.

Covid deaths in the second wave were up to five times higher in Bangladeshi Brits than white adults in England, while black Africans were 3.7 times as likely to die in the first wave.

Official breakdowns have not yet been released for ethnic outcomes from the Omicron wave, but experts fear lower booster uptake in some groups could put them at greater risk from the virus — despite the overall lower danger posed by the variant.

Ministers last week announced communities lagging behind in uptake will be targeted with a share of the £22million of funding earmarked for the Community Vaccine Champions scheme.

More than 60 councils including Bradford, Derby and Newham will be supported with bespoke projects to jab hard to reach groups.

Communities minister Kemi Badenoch said: ‘In England more than 80 per cent of eligible adults over 18 have had a booster and for over 50s it is 90 per cent. 

‘This is a great take-up so far, but we need to do more as we know that the unvaccinated are up to eight times more likely to be hospitalised than those who are jabbed.

‘By funding Community Vaccine Champions — an army of volunteers who are at the heart of their communities — we can reach those yet to be vaccinated and encourage them to protect themselves and the NHS.’

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