Why have those Britons with two covid vaccinations failed to get the booster?

Beth MannSenior Research Executive
August 23, 2022, 8:47 AM GMT+0

Only a third of those who got their first two shots, but have not yet been boosted, intend to do so

Britain is the first country to approve a dual COVID vaccine that targets both the original strain of the disease and the Omicron variant. With the UK set to kick off another booster campaign in the autumn, how many Britons are keeping up with booster jabs?

A YouGov survey of more than 5,000 Britons, shows 90% have had at least one coronavirus vaccine, 89% having at least two (qualifying as ‘fully vaccinated’) and 77% having had at least one booster. These results match official figures gathered by the government.

Britons aged 65 and over are most likely to be boosted, with 92% saying so, and the youngest adults (18-24 year olds) are the least likely, at just 60%.

Overall, 12% of Britons went to the trouble of getting the two shots that were initially recommended during the early stages of the vaccine rollout, but have thus far declined to get a booster.

Of these twice-vaxxed Britons, only 33% say they intend to get the booster. More, however, say they don’t intend to (41%), with a further 26% unsure.

Those Britons sporting only two shots are less likely to say they will get a third if they are under the age of 50 (26-28%) than those in the same group over 50 (49-51%).

Why haven’t people with two vaccinations gotten their boosters?

We asked those who do intend to get a booster to tell us in their own words why they haven’t got it up until now. YouGov categorised the results as depicted in the chart below, with the most common answer by far – at 62% – being that they didn’t realise they were eligible.

A further 12% say they haven’t had the time, 7% say they were ill at the time and haven’t got round to getting it since, and 4% mentioned practical difficulties, such as trying to get to the appointment.

We also asked those who got their first two shots but are reluctant to get the booster why they felt this way. Motivations among this group are more diverse.

The largest portion – 34% – stated that it is because they don’t think they need it, with many considering themselves to be protected enough by the first two shots and others saying they don’t need it because the coronavirus pandemic isn’t a problem anymore.

A further one in seven (14%) are put off by the prospect of experiencing the same side effects as the first two jabs.

There are also concerns with the efficacy of the vaccine, with one in seven (14%) saying they don’t believe the vaccine effectively protects you from getting Covid-19. An additional 10% go further, being worried about what the vaccine may do to them in long term and in relation to more serious health issues.

See the full results here

Photo: Getty

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