Fifth will resent not getting Covid jab before summer holidays – study

Jemma Crew, PA Social Affairs Correspondent
·3-min read

Around a fifth of unvaccinated adults say they will feel resentful if they do not get a coronavirus jab before their summer holidays, a survey has found.

The Government’s target is to have offered a jab to all UK adults by the end of July.

Some 18% of those yet to receive a vaccine said they will feel resentful towards those who have been jabbed if they do not get one before their summer holidays, according to a survey of 4,896 UK adults aged 18-75.

The research was carried out by the University of Bristol, King’s College London and the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emergency Preparedness and Response.

It found that almost a quarter (24%) of those earning more than £55,000-a-year said they would feel resentful.

Overall, a majority (58%) of unvaccinated adults predicted they would not feel this way.

One in eight respondents said they currently feel resentful towards others who have been vaccinated, with two-thirds saying they do not feel this way.

The research, carried out between April 1 and 16, also found that three in 10 adults believe vaccine passports would reduce civil liberties.

This is a rise from 25% who felt this way in March.

And it identified “widespread concern” about the ability to control forgeries, with 49% of the public thinking vaccination passports will be sold on the black market.

But “notable minorities” said vaccine passports would make them feel more comfortable doing activities such as travelling internationally (42%), sending their children to school (40%) and going to a pub or restaurant (44%).

Plane Stock
Some say vaccine passports will make them feel safer travelling overseas (John Walton/PA)

Professor Bobby Duffy, director of the Policy Institute at King’s College London, said: “There is very widespread support for the staged approach to vaccination in the UK, getting to the oldest and most vulnerable first, as demonstrated by the fact that only 12% of the currently unvaccinated say they resent those who have been.

“This no doubt partly reflects the speed and efficiency of the vaccine rollout overall, as people can have confidence that they’ll get their turn soon.

“However, there are some clear limits to this – with the summer holiday season a key target many have in mind, and a potential test of our collective spirit if some are free to travel while others are not.

“Public faith in the equity and reliability of any vaccine passport system is going to need to be carefully encouraged, as large minorities are starting from a suspicion about its impact on civil liberties, and half think it could be used fraudulently.”

Dr Siobhan McAndrew, senior lecturer in quantitative social science at the University of Bristol, added: “Some members of the public see vaccination as a social duty, while others are more concerned with direct personal benefits.

“Partly for that reason, there has been great policy interest in whether vaccination passports might encourage vaccine uptake.

“These findings indicate they may do so, as well as allowing the leisure, hospitality and travel industries to reopen more promptly.

“But we also have evidence of the challenges that may come with the passports – as significant proportions of the public fear they will be misused, including through curtailing civil liberties.”