The UPTAKE study: a cross-sectional survey examining the insights and beliefs of the UK population on COVID-19 vaccine uptake and hesitancy

Sonika Sethi, Aditi Kumar, Anandadeep Mandal, Mohammed Shaikh, Claire A. Hall, Jeremy Kirk, Paul Moss, Matthew J. Brookes, Supratik Basu

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Objective: A key challenge towards a successful COVID-19 vaccine uptake is vaccine hesitancy. We examine and provide novel insights on the key drivers and barriers towards COVID-19 vaccine uptake.

Design: This study involved an anonymous cross-sectional online survey circulated across the UK in September 2020. The survey was designed to include several sections to collect demographic data and responses on (1) extent of agreement regarding various statements about COVID-19 and vaccinations, (2) previous vaccination habits (eg, if they had previously declined vaccination) and (3) interest in participation in vaccine trials. Multinominal logistic models examined demographic factors that may impact vaccine uptake. We used principle component analysis and text mining to explore perception related to vaccine uptake.

Setting: The survey was circulated through various media, including posts on social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram), national radio, news articles, Clinical Research Network website and newsletter, and through 150 West Midlands general practices via a text messaging service. Participants There were a total of 4884 respondents of which 9.44% were black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) group. The majority were women (n=3416, 69.9%) and of white ethnicity (n=4127, 84.5%).

Results: Regarding respondents, overall, 3873 (79.3%) were interested in taking approved COVID-19 vaccines, while 677 (13.9%) were unsure, and 334 (6.8%) would not take a vaccine. Participants aged over 70 years old (OR=4.63) and the BAME community (OR=5.48) were more likely to take an approved vaccine. Smokers (OR=0.45) and respondents with no known illness (OR=0.70) were less likely to accept approved vaccines. The study identified 16 key reasons for not accepting approved vaccines, the most common (60%) being the possibility of the COVID-19 vaccine having side effects.

Conclusions: This study provides an insight into focusing on specific populations to reduce vaccine hesitancy. This proves crucial in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere048856
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBMJ open
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

The research design and estimations are done by me. I am the data scientist for the studies in collaboration with NIHR and NHS. This study was presented to the Vaccine Task force, government of UK and is currently being developed into a high impact case study.

This is the largest survey study in the UK examining vaccine uptakes. This study has key importance with COVID-19 vaccination rollout. The study examines the various factors affecting participation in vaccine uptake, including factors such as gender, age, ethnicity and qualification. The study also focuses on the BAME community and states recommendation for Public health campaigns.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.


  • COVID-19
  • Vaccine hesitancy
  • vaccine uptake
  • UK population survey
  • health policy
  • virology
  • immunology
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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