Hesitancy for receiving regular SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in UK healthcare workers: a cross-sectional analysis from the UK-REACH study


Regular vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 may be needed to maintain immunity in ‘at-risk’ populations, which include healthcare workers (HCWs). However, little is known about the proportion of HCWs who might be hesitant about receiving a hypothetical regular SARS-CoV-2 vaccination or the factors associated with this hesitancy.


Cross-sectional analysis of questionnaire data collected as part of UK-REACH, a nationwide, longitudinal cohort study of HCWs. The outcome measure was binary, either a participant indicated they would definitely accept regular SARS-CoV-2 vaccination if recommended or they indicated some degree of hesitancy regarding acceptance (probably accept or less likely). We used logistic regression to identify factors associated with hesitancy for receiving regular vaccination.


A total of 5454 HCWs were included in the analysed cohort, 23.5% of whom were hesitant about regular SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Black HCWs were more likely to be hesitant than White HCWs (aOR 2.60, 95%CI 1.80–3.72) as were those who reported a previous episode of COVID-19 (1.33, 1.13–1.57 [vs those who tested negative]). Those who received influenza vaccination in the previous two seasons were over five times less likely to report hesitancy for regular SARS-CoV-2 vaccination than those not vaccinated against influenza in either season (0.18, 0.14–0.21). HCWs who trusted official sources of vaccine information (such as NHS or government adverts or websites) were less likely to report hesitancy for a regular vaccination programme. Those who had been exposed to information advocating against vaccination from friends and family were more likely to be hesitant.


In this study, nearly a quarter of UK HCWs were hesitant about receiving a regular SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. We have identified key factors associated with hesitancy for regular SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, which can be used to identify groups of HCWs at the highest risk of vaccine hesitancy and tailor interventions accordingly. Family and friends of HCWs may influence decisions about regular vaccination. This implies that working with HCWs and their social networks to allay concerns about SARS-CoV-2 vaccination could improve uptake in a regular vaccination programme.

Author list


  1. Department of Respiratory Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK. 
  2. Department of Infection and HIV Medicine, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK. 
  3. University College London Medical School, London, UK. 
  4. Population and Lifespan Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK. 
  5. Biostatistics Research Group, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK. 
  6. Diabetes Research Centre, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.


Neyme Veli1,2†, Christopher A. Martin1,2†, Katherine Woolf3, Joshua Nazareth1,2, Daniel Pan1,2, Amani Al‐Oraibi1, Rebecca F. Baggaley1, Luke Bryant1, Laura B. Nellums4, Laura J. Gray5, Kamlesh Khunti6, Manish Pareek1,2* and The UK‐REACH Study Collaborative Group

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2


BMC Medicine