87% of UK vegans have had at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine
New research published today (7 December) shows 62% of UK vegans have had two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine with 25% stating they have received one dose and are waiting to receive the second. In total that means around 87% of vegans aged 16 and over have now had at least one dose of the vaccine.
The Vegan Society’s Vaccination Survey also shows 1 in 10 (10%) haven’t had a single dose of the vaccine yet, but would like to. When asked why they have yet to receive a single dose, 33% of this group said they want to wait until for information about the vaccine is available, with 20% saying they’ve previously had an allergic reaction or bad reaction to a vaccination. The same number (20%) said they have a fear of doctors, needles and/or medical situations.
Just 4% said that hadn’t had the vaccine and they are not going to. The top reason given by those not wanting to get a vaccine is a fear or distrust over whether the vaccine is safe (58%). Thirty-five percent want to wait for more information to be made available and 29% do not believe the vaccine works. Twenty-three percent of this group stated ethical reasons.
The definition of veganism recognises that it is not always possible or practicable for vegans to avoid participating in animal use, which is particularly relevant to medical situations.
Sam Calvert, spokesperson for The Vegan Society, said: “The Vegan Society understands that the Covid-19 vaccination programme is playing a fundamental role in tackling the pandemic and saving lives. However, as there is currently a legal requirement that all vaccines are tested on animals, all three Covid-19 vaccines available in the UK are not considered vegan as they have used animals in their development and testing.”
“Sadly, we don’t yet live in a fully vegan world, and we know that facing these kinds of decisions can be extremely distressing for all vegans. No vegan takes the decision to accept medication that is the result of animal use and testing lightly. Every vegan’s situation is different and we encourage vegans to come to their own decision on this matter, as with all medication, in conjunction with their primary healthcare team.”
To date around 69% of the UK population, around 46.2 million people, have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine while booster vaccine doses have also been made available on the NHS for those who have already had two doses.
The vaccines currently approved for use in the UK are Moderna vaccine, Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
From April 2022, it will become compulsory for frontline NHS staff in England to be fully vaccinated against Covid. The health secretary Sajid Javid says he believes the deadline gives 103,000 unvaccinated workers time to get both jabs. Contrary to recent misinformation, there is no ‘vegan exemption certificate’ and vegans should be aware that only a court can decide if discrimination has taken place.
You can read The Vegan Society’s full statement about the Covid-19 vaccines online.
Vaccination survey ran from 7th September to 5th October