How anti-vax data can help us tackle the nation’s ills

Scott-LogieThose who aren’t vaccinated against Covid may find themselves in a more vulnerable position than before: some risk losing their jobs, while others risk social exclusion. Vulnerable consumers are a significant section of the population that brands need to be aware of, especially with the expected cost-of-living crunch. Not only that, but a greater understanding of those who are not vaccinated could help the NHS and other organisations tailor their vaccination messaging accordingly.

Data can help brands identify vulnerable customers. A new scheme from More Metrics and REaD Group, for instance, has revealed the geo-profiles of the least vaccinated of the UK population. The data is an analysis of the characteristics of the total population within specific locations, not a profile of individuals.

What this means is that at a very local level, e.g. each postcode, in the country, we can identify the characteristics of those living there, including the likelihood that they have been vaccinated or not. We can then compare those postcodes with lower (or higher) vaccination rates to see what the profiles are of each.

The analysis uses More Metrics’ open source modelled data. It does not incorporate any personal data and is therefore GDPR compliant.

The UK’s highest anti-vaccinated areas tend to be in the middle or north of England (North West, West Midlands, Yorkshire) or Northern Ireland which is significantly above average compared to the rest of the country. In the south, only Outer London stands out with the South East in general being the least likely to be unvaccinated – this may be down to the surge in cases of Omicron in London late last year and the high profile it gathered.

When we look at demographics, younger people (under 15) are less likely to be vaccinated, although this will mainly be down to how many have been offered vaccinations, otherwise there is no main age bias. However, as reported in the press, there is a large disparity in terms of ethnicity. The largest and most over­represented ethnic group is African; 15% were born outside of the UK and 2.3% do not speak English well. There are 25% of households with dependent children, marginally fewer than the national average, but 12% with non­dependent children, which is marginally more.

When we look at the attitudes of those who are unvaccinated, we see that they do not tend to follow left of centre politics or be eco warriors or wildlife lovers. They are more likely to tend towards strong UK borders and are worried about anti-social crime.

On average, life expectancy is lower than the national average: in general, this is not related to Covid, indicating more health problems than the general population, with the 45­-59 age group exhibiting the greatest difference. This is reflected in only 78% believing that they are in good or better health, with significantly higher proportions of those unvaccinated likely to smoke or be overweight. This is concerning as it indicates that those with underlying health conditions, and therefore most at risk, are also less likely to be vaccinated.

Individual incomes tend to be lower than the national average, reflected in lower than average numbers of degree­qualified individuals. The largest occupation category comprises elementary agricultural, construction and plant workers. Those who are unvaccinated also tend to live in flats or terraced housing and are more likely to live alone. Those with families are much less likely to be unvaccinated.

Overall, this data reflects the messages that we have heard from the Government. There are large sections of society – particularly those living in multi-ethnic, lower income areas – who are unvaccinated. We also see that people in these areas are also more likely to have health problems and be smokers or overweight, which is concerning. More needs to be done to educate these groups not just for their own benefit but also for the benefit of the country and the NHS.

Scott Logie is customer engagement director at REaD Group

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