Adults aged 16-29 group 'most likely' to report Covid vaccine hesitancy

Credit: AP

Covid vaccine hesitancy is limited to a small minority, according to latest research, but it is young people that have the most uncertainty of any age group.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed adults aged 16-29 are the most likely to report hesitancy around the jab, at around one in every six people.

Concerns included side effects, long term effects and how well the vaccine works.

A breakdown of the figures based on ethnicity showed 44% of Black or Black British adults reported vaccine hesitancy - the highest of all ethnic groups.

People aged 40-49 are next in line for a Covid-19 vaccine. Credit: PA

Are people hesitant about the vaccine?

On the whole, no.

The ONS looked at four weeks of responses to the Opinions and Lifestyles Survey and found more than 90% of adults were positive about the vaccine.

Less than 10% expressed hesitancy - here's who and why.


Around 17% adults aged 16 to 29 years reported vaccine hesitancy - the highest of all age groups.

There a different in sex too, with younger women reporting more vaccine hesitancy (19%) compared to men in the same age group (15%).

People queue to receive their coronavirus vaccine. Credit: PA

Analysis of the survey results found hesitancy was broadly in line with the list of advised priority groups first in line for the vaccine in the UK.

Those in the highest priority groups - adults aged 80 and over; adults aged 70 to 74 years; and those aged 75 to 79 years - reported just 1% hesitancy, with many having already had the jab.


Adults of ethnic minority backgrounds were more likely to report vaccine hesitancy when compared with white adults.

Black or Black British adults were most likely to report vaccine hesitancy (44%) followed by Chinese or other (18%), mixed (17%), and Asian or British Asian (17%).

Credit: ONS

Health characteristics

A similar proportion of disabled and non-disabled adults reported vaccine hesitancy (8% and 9% respectively).

Those without an underlying health condition were, however, more likely to report vaccine hesitancy (10%) than those with an underlying health condition (6%).


Vaccine hesitancy doubled among parents living with a young child or children (aged 0-4 years) compared to non-parents or parents with adult children.

A rise in cases is expected in the new year when schools return after the festive break, an expert said Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

Those with young children reported 16% hesitancy compared to 8% among those without.


Rates of hesitancy were higher in the more deprived areas of England, and slightly higher among adults without degree level education.

Adults living in the most deprived areas of England were more likely to report vaccine hesitancy at 16%, compared with 7% of adults in the least deprived areas of England.

One in 10 adults educated below degree level reported vaccine hesitancy - slightly higher than the rates of those educated at degree level or equivalent.