Racial and ethnic disparities due to structural bias across state institutions cause reluctance among minority groups to take Covid vaccines.
Nearly 50 per cent of Asian ethnicity have struggled or been unable to access government support despite their eligibility to access it, while 41 per cent of Mixed ethnicity and over a third of Black (39 per cent) also faced the same challenges, new research found.
The survey of 2,600 people in the UK conducted by Savanta ComRes for the RSA has shown that discrimination and distrust might be contributing to the high levels of reluctance among ethnic minorities.
Anthony Painter, chief research and impact officer at the RSA, said: “The evidence from our research casts serious doubt on the idea that institutional racism is not an issue in the UK. People from ethnic minorities are much more likely to have experienced discrimination in public services, and we saw some evidence that this is linked to ‘vaccine hesitancy’.
“Too often, we talk about why ethnic minorities are less likely to trust those delivering public services, which puts the onus on those communities, rather than serious service failings.
“In the future, public services also need to look beyond ‘engagement’ or ‘outreach’ with ethnic minority groups, and instead look at the systemic and institutional reasons they are not trusted.”
According to the research, the police and justice system and the UK government is highly unsupportive of Black and Mixed populations.
A number of respondents from Black and mixed ethnic backgrounds said the police ‘actively make my life more difficult’.