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Vaccine hesitancy among black and black British adults has halved in roughly a month, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. 

Positive sentiments towards vaccines among the adult population as a whole rose to 94 per cent in March, up from 78 per cent in December when data were first collected. 

Six per cent of 17,200 respondents reported vaccine hesitancy between February 17 to March 14 – down from 9 per cent of respondents during the previous data collection period.

About a fifth (22 per cent) of black or black British adults reported hesitancy, down from 44 per cent between January 13 and February 7.

Despite the sharp fall in hesitancy, this remains the highest level in all ethnic groups, with 13 per cent of adults in the Asian or Asian British group reporting hesitancy and 12 per cent of those with mixed ethnicity. 

The ONS defined hesitancy as adults who have refused a vaccine, say they would be unlikely to get a vaccine when offered, and those who responded “neither likely nor unlikely”, “don’t know” or “prefer not to say” when asked.

“Over the past few months, we have seen attitudes across most of the population becoming more positive towards Covid-19 vaccination. However, there is still hesitancy among some groups, including young people, black or black British and those living in the most deprived areas,” Tim Vizard, from the ONS public policy analysis division, said. 

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