Hackney survey finds young people more likely to be 'vaccine hesitant'

Covid vaccine vial.

A Covid vaccine vial used at a Hackney vaccination centre. - Credit: Hackney council

Hackney teachers have created a vaccine learning pack to encourage young people who are hesitant to get the coronavirus jab. 

Teachers at Stoke Newington School developed the learning materials with help from students and public health experts after research conducted by Hackney Council suggested young people are more likely to be unsure about getting the Covid vaccination compared to older groups. 

Jesse Hershkowitz, head of science at Stoke Newington School, said the learning materials help young people examine the scientific principles behind vaccination and learn more about the development of Covid vaccines. 

She said: “While many of my pupils are highly enthusiastic about the vaccine, there are undoubtedly pupils who are more hesitant. This can be for all sorts of reasons – some just don’t know enough about vaccines, while others may have misconceptions about them.” 

A council survey carried out as part of the captial's Keep London Safe campaign found seven per cent of people aged 16-24 would "definitely not" get vaccinated and 21pc were "unsure".

The research revealed a stark difference in vaccine attitudes, with only eight pc of respondents aged 75 and older  "unsure" and none in this age group stating they would "definitely not" get the vaccine. 

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, deputy mayor of Hackney, said: “This incredible work by teachers at Stoke Newington School builds on the research we’ve carried out with young Londoners. 

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"It aims to explain the safety of the vaccine, bring the science of it to life, and enable young people to discuss their concerns with teachers.” 

The packs, which include PowerPoint presentations, teaching notes and embedded videos, are being distributed to primary and secondary schools across the country by umbrella organisation London Councils. 

Hackney Council hopes the packs will encourage young people to speak with older residents about vaccine safety as they have proved "powerful advocates" in past public health campaigns involving smoking and seatbelt wearing. 

Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health England’s regional director for London, added: “Young Londoners have the potential to be important ambassadors for vaccination and these learning materials are a great resource to build their understanding about this lifesaving public health intervention."

The packs can be found at www.hackneyservicesforschools.co.uk/extranet/vaccination-resources