Ethnic minorities have benefited most from the NHS “grab-a-jab” coronavirus vaccination campaign, analysis suggests.
More than 3.8 million first doses have been delivered since the first grab-a-jab weekend at the end of June – more than 400,000 a week, NHS England said.
It has enabled people to turn up and get vaccinated at festivals, mosques, town halls, football grounds and other sites without prior booking.
Analysis of one weekend in July found two in five of the 80,000 walk-in doses were administered to people from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Since the campaign was launched, more than 700,000 people from ethnic minority backgrounds have been protected, NHS England said.
The fastest growth in vaccinations has been in people of mixed Asian and white backgrounds, rising by almost a quarter from 81,933 people having received a first dose by June 20 to 101,140 by August 22.
This was followed by mixed white (up 22.9%) and black African groups (up 20.9%).
In comparison, over the same period the rise in first doses among white people was 11.1%.
Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS medical director of primary care, said there is increasing confidence and greater accessibility to meet the needs of different communities.
She said: “This hard work is paying off and we are protecting people that were previously reluctant to get the vaccine, building on work we have already done, such as tackling misinformation online, translating materials into more than 20 languages and working with faith and community leaders to promote the vaccine’s safety.
“The vaccine is safe, effective and could save your life, and if you have any lingering questions or concerns, please come forward and speak to a trusted healthcare professional.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “It’s fantastic to see the positive impact NHS England’s grab-a-jab weekend has had in driving vaccine uptake amongst ethnic minority groups in particular.
“Our wonderful NHS staff and volunteers have gone above and beyond to make the vaccine as accessible as possible, rolling out the programme at a variety of sites including places of worship, festivals and sporting venues.”