With news of a Covid-19 vaccine being available in the UK by the end of the year, the UK’s largest appointment booking and healthcare management app, ‘myGP’, has revealed that 78 percent of the UK’s adult population are opting to have the vaccination, as soon as it is available.
Being home to over two million NHS patients who book their GP appointments and manage their health via the app, the company decided to undertake the study, which has revealed that almost four in five adults (78%) are planning to have the Covid-19 vaccine once it’s available, with a lower 44 percent of parents planning to put their children forward to do the same.
In terms of age, unsurprisingly it’s older generations who are most open to receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, with 86 percent of over-55s willing to have it done, and rising to nine in 10 (90 percent) for over-65s.
To explore the intentions of parents who aren’t planning to vaccinate their children, myGP delved deeper with a further poll of 180 UK parents, which revealed the main reasons for parents shunning the Covid-19 vaccine. When asked why they wouldn’t vaccinate their children, the main reason given by most parents (60%) was the speed at which the impending vaccination had been delivered.
The second biggest reason, which almost a quarter of parents gave, was that they didn’t consider their children being ‘high risk’ enough to require a vaccine, following widespread reports that most young people without underlying health issues do not experience complications after contracting Covid-19.
A more confident 11 percent of parents would prefer their children to catch Covid-19, so they can effectively build-up valuable antibodies to protect themselves in the future.
Interestingly, the MMR vaccine and Autism debate appears to have taken a back seat during parents’ decision making around the latest vaccine, with only 3 percent of parents referencing it as a barrier.
Top 5 reasons preventing parents from vaccinating their children against Covid-19:
• The Covid-19 vaccine has been developed too quickly – 60%
• Children are not high risk enough to need a vaccine against Covid-19 – 24%
• I’d prefer for my child to get the antibodies naturally – 11%
• Concerns around side-effects (MMR & autism debate) – 3%
• My child(ren) can decide if they want the vaccine when they are old enough – 2%
Dr Harriet Leyland, myGP’s Clinical Advisor, comments on the importance of effective communication for patients eligible for the vaccine, for a successful rollout:
“It’s encouraging to see such a large majority of UK adults planning to have the vaccine when it’s available to them. The roll-out will start with elderly care home patients and all medical staff, followed by patient groups based on age – with the eldest coming first. NHS GPs are positive about the rollout and are gearing up to deliver the vaccines. It’s an exciting step in the right direction, for all.
“It’s important now for us all to remain patient, and ensure we watch out for updates regarding when we are eligible for a vaccine. The UK media will share general updates on what is happening and when, and GP practices will communicate with patients directly as and when the vaccine is available.
“With the vaccine coming in two doses set three weeks apart, it’s really important that patients remember to return for the second dose – digital reminders via a Smartphone will play a major part in this process. Today over two million NHS patients book appointments and manage their health via the myGP app, who will receive a push notification or text message when their Covid-19 vaccine is available – everyone can access this service, for free.”
Dr Yasmin Razak, Clinical Director of the Neohealth Primary Care Network and a working GP and mum comments on parents’ decisions regarding vaccinating their children:
“Naturally, we are always more cautious when it comes to our children’s health, over our own, so the lower percentage of parents planning to vaccinate their children is no real surprise.
“The reasons given by parents who aren’t planning to vaccinate their children echo the comments I am hearing from parents I meet in the practice. Every parent has a choice, and the closer we get to a vaccine being available, clearer advice for parents will become available – this advice will enable us to identify if our children are at greater risk of complications should they contract Covid-19, and therefore will enable parents to make the right decision.
“I would urge parents to keep an open mind until more information is available, and when it is available, to trust the experts’ advice.”
All NHS patients can get a direct line with their GP practice by downloading the NHS-approved myGP app for free today at www.mygp.com.