COVID-19 vaccination uptake amongst ethnic minority communities in England: a linked study exploring the drivers of differential vaccination ratesBACKGROUND: Despite generally high coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination rates in the UK, vaccination hesitancy and lower take-up rates have been reported in certain ethnic minority communities. METHODS: We used vaccination data from the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) linked to the 2011 Census and individual health records for subjects aged ≥40 years (n = 24 094 186). We estimated age-standardized vaccination rates, stratified by ethnic group and key sociodemographic characteristics, such as religious affiliation, deprivation, educational attainment, geography, living conditions, country of birth, language skills and health status. To understand the association of ethnicity with lower vaccination rates, we conducted a logistic regression model adjusting for differences in geographic, sociodemographic and health characteristics. ResultsAll ethnic groups had lower age-standardized rates of vaccination compared with the white British population, whose vaccination rate of at least one dose was 94% (95% CI: 94%-94%). Black communities had the lowest rates, with 75% (74-75%) of black African and 66% (66-67%) of black Caribbean individuals having received at least one dose. The drivers of these lower rates were partly explained by accounting for sociodemographic differences. However, modelled estimates showed significant differences remained for all minority ethnic groups, compared with white British individuals. CONCLUSIONS: Lower COVID-19 vaccination rates are consistently observed amongst all ethnic minorities.