The equitability of the UK COVID-19 vaccination strategy

What are we trying to do?
The overarching aim of this research project is to use the Greater Manchester Integrated Care Record (GMCR) to study whether the vaccination strategy achieves equal access for equal need in terms of geographical area, income deprivation and ethnicity. 


As the vaccine roll-out progresses, we will also investigate emerging inequalities in vaccine uptake across socio-demographic groups.



Why is this important?

Following the development and approval of several highly effective vaccines to prevent COVID-19, establishing prioritisation criteria for distribution of the initially scarce supply is necessary. The UK government is distributing the vaccine free at the point of service via the NHS, which operates under the guiding principle of equal access for equal need. Given the widespread transmission and  high levels of COVID-19 mortality, the cost of delayed vaccination could be high for individuals. 


There are costs to society if vaccines are not distributed to those with the highest risk of hospitalisation first, as the NHS is currently under severe pressure due to the volume of COVID-19 patients and economically damaging lockdown measures have been enacted to reduce further viral spread. 


How are we doing it?
We will be using statistical analytical methods to:

  • Identify how age and income deprivation interact to moderate risk of COVID-19 mortality and hospitalisation within Greater Manchester (GM)
  • Identify how age and ethnicity interact to moderate risk of COVID-19 mortality and hospitalisation within GM
  • Estimate inequalities in vaccine access per relative risk of COVID-19  mortality and hospitalisation by income deprivation and ethnicity
  • Compare the distribution of vaccine eligibility with the distribution of COVID-19 mortality and hospitalisation by geographical area, income deprivation and ethnicity
  • Estimate inequalities in COVID-19 vaccination uptake by GM locality, IMD quintile, ethnic group and gender.


Alongside statistical analysis, we will be working with our ARC-GM and Health Innovation Manchester Public and Community Involvement and Engagement (PCIE) Panel and Forum, to explore how diverse members of the public and local leaders might view equity in terms of COVID-19 vaccine deployment



Who we are working with
Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership
Public Health England North West


More information:
For further information about this work, please contact Ruth Watkinson (Research Associate)

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