Vaccine refuser data thread

I stumbled across the following when I was looking for something else:

BRUSSELS, Jan 15 (Reuters) - The European Commission is working on a vaccine certificate, dubbed “Vaxproof”, that could help restore cross-border travel, EU officials said, but the plan is dividing EU nations.

The issue has been discussed for months but has led to no compromise because of fears over vaccine hesitancy and privacy.

The EU executive Commission is working on a system for mutual recognition in all 27 EU countries of a certificate proving the holder has been vaccinated against the new coronavirus and therefore needs to undergo no tests on arrival to another country, according to two EU officials briefed on the matter.

The article goes on to discuss the proposal in the context of high levels of vaccine hesitancy in Europe, and how this may be perceived as edging towards coercion for the hesitant.

I have no reason at all to doubt Reuters as a source, but if you google vaxproof you don’t get many hits, and I couldn’t find any for the EU Commission.


This isn’t exactly vaccine refusal as I had envisaged it, but here’s a whole country in top-down rejection:

Since June last year, when President John Magufuli declared the country “Covid-19 free”, he, along with other top government officials, have mocked the efficacy of masks, doubted if testing works, and teased neighbouring countries which have imposed health measures to curb the virus.

Mr Magufuli has also warned - without providing any evidence - that Covid-19 vaccines could be harmful and has instead been urging Tanzanians to use steam inhalation and herbal medicines, neither of which have been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) as treatments…

…“If the white man was able to come up with vaccinations, he should have found a vaccination for Aids, cancer and TB by now,” said Mr Magufuli, who has often cast himself as standing up to Western imperialism.

That’s only a taster of the madness. This isn’t going to end well.


This kind of ignorance is exactly why he shouldn’t be making other people’s health decisions. If this were a character on a TV show, this would be funny.

There have been a lot of surveys published - but ultimately they are just surveys. Interesting, yes, but is that how people are really going to behave?

This isn’t a survey.

OK, the TL;DR is this: open the link, scroll down one screen, and look at the graph. Those are your high risk group (age 80+) actual refusers.

Covid vaccinations have been administered at pace in Bradford, as in the rest of the UK. But data for December and January indicates a high level [it’s 23%] of refusal among those aged 80 or over in the Pakistani community. Dr John Wright of Bradford Royal Infirmary asks why, and considers the implications.

My bold, my addition of the percentage.

What makes the situation worse is that members of the British Pakistani community are much more likely to live in a multi-generational household, so (one presumes) this particular cohort of aged vaccine refusers is at an increased exposure risk compared to their white counterparts (for example.)

From the “front-line diary”:

To combat this misinfo-demic [misinformation has been a driving factor in refusal], we are working with people from within BAME communities. Faith leaders have endorsed the Covid vaccine by having the injection themselves. On Thursday a pop-up vaccination centre will open in a mosque in [the nearby town of] Keighley. Hopefully it will be the first of many.

Actually, it isn’t the first - there is already a pop-up vaccination centre at a mosque in East London.

This quote (re the East London centre) isn’t strictly relevant, but it’s interesting:

The clinic got the go-ahead from public health officials late on Thursday, giving the mosque only one day to promote it to local residents. “We used the devices which usually allow people to hear the call to prayer in their homes to urge people to come and get vaccinated,” said Asad Jaman, who spearheaded the project.


PS: This isn’t strictly relevant either, but just for those who are wondering - Keighley: pronounced Keith Lee; or, if you come from there, Keith Luh.

A surprising number of nurses refused the vaccine where I work, including those who work with COVID patients. So many that the hospital was able to vaccinate all willing employees not working in patient care areas.

My impression after speaking with some was that they wanted to ‘wait and see’ because the vaccine was so new rather than being opposed to getting vaccinated altogether.

I hope that’s true. But if they sensed they were talking with a pro-vaxxer, that’s the easiest explanation.

Now me, I’m desperate for anything to reduce the cabin fever, in additional to being concerned about getting sick. And I’ve only talked to the sick on the phone.

Upthread we had figures on refusal across the various ethnic groups in Bradford, UK. Here’s another snapshot, this time country-wide and from the perspective of uptake:

The racial disparity in vaccinations is rapidly becoming a glaring issue. While more than 9 million first and second doses have been given to white people, covering 18.4% of that population in England, that figure plummets to just 175,053 vaccinations for black people (8.7%).

People from Asian and mixed ethnicity backgrounds are also less likely to have been vaccinated, with 11.2% and 7.7% of those groups receiving a jab respectively up to 7 February.

Among over-80s, white people are six times more likely to have received a vaccine than black people in the same age group, according to research by academics at University of Oxford and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

There may be other confounding factors, of course, but refusal appears to be playing a role.


I have a friend who works for the state. Despite the fact that most of them are working from home and nobody is allowed into the building but masked workers (only 19 in a building that used to have over a hundred people working daily), everyone in her department was offered vaccinations because they are essential personal. Every person of color refused the vaccinations.

My friend didn’t get hers because she feels she is very low risk along with being young and healthy. She wants all of us old fucks to get our vaccinations first.

I wish people were less full of crap. Take your goddamn vaccine when you have a chance and spare us the noble reasoning for the delay.

Shots fired at the Dutch Reformed Congregations. Hey Dutchy, that religion you got there: it’s minor.

In December I sat in a meeting of 10 people, where 8 said they woudn’t get the vaccine. 80%!!! By end of Jan, all 10 had the vaccine.

Now, I believe this is to do with how survey questions are asked.

The debate is ‘are vaccines dangerous’
The question is would you take the vaccine (which already reminds people of the debate).
People’s minds are primed to think about the possible dangers.
result: they react to the danger aspect and say ‘no’.

When offered the vaccine, their reactions are different.

Another factor is tht their friends and collegues are getting the vaccine - a personal stories are better than statistics is persuading people. So, for my friend Jane, stories about a nurse called Doris dying in Canada trumps my stats, BUT, stories about her friends getting the vaccine trumps Doris.

I know about 40 people at work who have had the vaccination over a period of 14 days.

Some originally said they would never have it, but they have now.

But here’s something interesting, several people had reactions like flu symptoms, tiredness, headaches and time off work. Yet the people who feared the vaccine STILL had the vaccine.

Its like their through process was: "the vaccine might kills me. Oh look, it just gives me flu, so I don’t mind!’

First, thanks for your personal experience. It’s interesting and it adds to the emerging picture. Can I ask - was this in the US?

The surveys that I kicked this thread off with (post #1, natch) include some pretty solid publications - BMJ, for example - but you’re right, they’re surveys and as such will always have their limitations. Further surveys show similar results, but I also was somewhat skeptical of their accuracy in predicting what happens in real life.

However, now that vaccine rollout is under way - approaching a quarter of the population here in the UK (cite) - we’re starting to see real data on refusal rates - see posts #124,127. BTW note that I started #124 thus:

As the real data becomes available, we are seeing rather high levels of refusal, very high in some communities - and this is in the UK, which was expected to be one of the more compliant countries.

You said:

When offered the vaccine, their reactions are different.

-and there may be some truth to that, but the data in posts #124 and 127 are for people who have been offered vaccination.

I think one of the interesting stories that may be told in this thread is how attitudes to vaccination and refusal rates change as rollout progresses. I agree that many current refusers will likely changes their minds, but I suspect there will also be more coercive factors in play (“No vaccine passport? No pub or restaurant for you!”) But I didn’t plan this to be a thread for debating personal views, so I’ll stop right there.


I happened across OpenSAFELY today. This is a UK research group and they describe themselves thus:

OpenSAFELY is a new secure analytics platform for electronic health records in the NHS, created to deliver urgent results during the global COVID-19 emergency. It is now successfully delivering analyses across more than 24 million patients’ full pseudonymised primary care NHS records, with more to follow shortly. All our analytic software is open for security review, scientific review, and re-use. OpenSAFELY uses a new model for enhanced security and timely access to data: we don’t transport large volumes of potentially disclosive pseudonymised patient data outside of the secure environments managed by the electronic health record software company; instead, trusted analysts can run large scale computation across near real-time pseudonymised patient records inside the data centre of the electronic health records software company. This pragmatic and secure approach has allowed us to deliver our first analyses in just five weeks from project start.

My bold. In brief, the group can rapidly publish stats on many aspects of the UK COVID response based on a huge sample of patients. This is a preprint analysing vaccine uptake.

The meat of this is in the weekly report, a couple of screens down, which you can scroll through. As rollout progresses, information on the different priority groups becomes available, so the report at this stage concentrates on age 80+ and 70-79. Other populations, where vaccination is less complete are also included.

In those two high priority groups, a disturbingly familiar pattern is presented. Here, for example, is the cumulative percentage vaccinated, by ethnic group, up to 11 Feb

Black 55
Mixed 67.5
Other 65.9
South Asian 73.1
Unknown 83.4
White 86.3

(Not my intentional bold - some weird artifact of cut and paste)

Elsewhere (and where I learned of this group’s existence), this related story:

"As Dr Nikki Kanani - our GP leader - has said: we are fighting two pandemics here.

“We’re fighting the Covid virus, but we’re also fighting this huge tsunami of misinformation that’s coming out.”

The plan is to broadcast simultaneously across major commercial channels to make the message difficult to avoid.

Sky’s Stephen van Rooyen, meanwhile, said the network was “proud to be part of the biggest roadblock in television history”.


On a subject intimately related to vaccine refusal:

The UK government has been saying from the get-go that they would not introduce “vaccine passports” (“No vaccine passport? No pub or restaurant for you!”, as I put it in post #133).

Now, not so much.

There are “deep and complex issues” with using vaccine passports or certificates to prove someone’s Covid “status”, Boris Johnson has said.

Announcing a review of the proposal, he said using certificates to allow visits to venues such as pubs and theatres was a “novelty for our country”…

…Vaccine passports have been discussed by countries, including Greece, and operators such as Saga Cruises, as a way to safely reopen international leisure travel.

The issue ties into this thread because vaccine passports are an obvious way to persuade people to vaccinate - if you are not willing to contribute to a return to normal life, why should you be allowed to partake in that return to normal life, and by doing so increase risk of harm for others?

Yeah, I know it’s complicated - but the ethical arguments are for another thread, if someone cares to start one.


So, what I’m getting is that vaccine passports are going to be the new “service” animal. There will be so many fake ones out there that folks won’t be able to recognize the legit ones.

The one I get seems pretty easy to fake.

Current thinking is that, so far as the UK goes, it will be digital and carried on your smart phone; so I guess that has the potential to be pretty secure (if you have a smart phone, of course.)

Early days, eh?


And if someone is so poor they can’t afford a smart phone, they can’t afford to go out to eat anyhow so no worries.

Just for the record, my MMJ card is electronic and ideally all I need to do is pull it up and show it when needed. In reality, the folks who need to see it don’t want to touch my phone any more than I want to hand it over and their scanners often don’t work well with smartphone screens. I have a printed copy that I show now and everyone is happier.

I’m afraid employers are going to start demanding proof of of vaccination or they’ll fire you.