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Predicting better than expected vaccine uptake

Chris Holbrook Find Out Now Market Research

Chris Holbrook

16th Feb, 2021 | 6 mins read

We are delighted to see uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine programme unfolding as we predicted in early January when we asked a nationally representative sample of 5,000 in the UK whether they would take the vaccine.

At the time, our results showing that 91% of over-65s, and 94% for over 75s would receive a vaccine appeared to contradict the Government’s predictions:

We had assumed uptake would be around 75% based on previous vaccination programmes but in fact, so far, over 90% of care home residents and over-75-year-olds in England have chosen to receive their first dose of the vaccine.


On 4th January we sent out a press release detailing our findings, which were featured by the Mail on Sunday and i News.

Would you take one of the three main Covid-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, or Oxford AstraZenica) if offered tomorrow?

Yes: 78.2%
No: 18.3%
I already have: 1.54%
I cannot: 2%

The figure 18.3% suggested the UK was warming to the vaccines when compared to similar polls, like Yougov’s figure of 21% in November.  Moreover, of this 18%, over a quarter (27%) said they would refuse because they were “Not vulnerable, other people need it more”, suggesting that genuine anti-vaxxers only account for around 13% of the population.   

Women were more likely to be anti-vax than men:


A breakdown by age showed the younger you are the more likely you are to be anti-vaccination:


The refusal rate reached 27% for women between the ages of 18 and 34, many of whom cited worries about the vaccines’ affect on fertility and pregnancies.

Anti-vaxxers were most prevalent in the North West and least in the East of England:

Anti-vaxxers are most prevalent in the North West and least in the East of England

We also found a correlation with education: the more educated you are, the less likely you say No. Post-graduate degree holders are 20% less likely to say No than people educated to lower secondary. 

Non-voters are about twice as likely to refuse a vaccine than voters. 

Some more findings on anti-vaxxers that are consistent across age ranges:

 • 40% more likely to go to pubs/bars/clubs
 • 27% more likely to listen to music
 • 27% less likely to read if you are <65 of age
 • 260% more likely to shop online
 • 25% less likely to watch TV

We asked 2652 “No” respondents “Why?”:

  • • Needs to be proven safe: 52.45%
  • • Needs more testing: 48.27%
  • • Unknown side effects (e.g. fertility): 48.23%
  • • Development/approval is rushed: 46.57%
  • • Not enough information: 39.68%
  • • Not vulnerable, other people need it more: 27.24%
  • • Other health issues (e.g. allergy): 12.77%
  • • Don’t believe in Covid-19: 6.07%
  • • Don’t believe in vaccines: 5.2%
  • • None of the above: 3.58%

We asked 600 anti-vaxxers to put into their own words why they would refuse the vaccine, and from where they got their information.  These can be downloaded as a spreadsheet here.

About the survey

The survey of 55,642 members of Pick My Postcode was conducted on Tuesday 29th of December. Find Out Now adjusted the results to get a nationally representative sub-sample of 5,000 within +/-1% of ONS quotas for Age, Gender, Region, and past voting using machine learning. You can see the full results here

For further information, or to request a poll or survey, contact us on ask@findoutnow.co.uk

Photo by CDC on Unsplash