Revealed: Nearly two-thirds of bar staff aren't fully vaccinated

·Freelance news writer, Yahoo UK
·3 min read
On the day that the UK government eased Covid restrictions to allow non-essential businesses such as shops, pubs, bars, gyms and hairdressers to re-open, customers are served outdoor drinks on Old Compton Street in Soho, on 12th April 2021, in London, England. (Photo by Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images)
Nearly two-thirds of bar and waiting staff haven't had three COVID vaccine doses. (Getty Images)

Nearly two-thirds of bar staff and waiters in England are not fully vaccinated against COVID, new data shows.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released figures showing vaccination rates by occupation, with three doses counting as fully vaccinated.

It's the first-ever dataset to break down vaccine figures according to how close employees are to each other, which is defined as being within an arm’s length or touching.

Of all the occupations that require working in close physical proximity to others, full vaccine coverage was lowest in bar staff (61.9% not having had three doses), waiters (61.2%) and beauticians (also 61.2%).

The figures, which were accurate as of 31 December, are demonstrated in the following graphic...

Vaccination rates among people who work in close proximity to others. (Yahoo News UK)
Vaccination rates among people who work in close proximity to others. (Yahoo News UK)

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It compares to specialist medical practitioners, who have the highest coverage with 90.5% of workers having had three doses.

Meanwhile, roofers have the highest level of non-vaccination, with over one in five - 20.8% - not having had a single dose.

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Some of the lowest estimates for close-proximity occupations are for headteachers (1.9% unvaccinated), GPs (2.4%), vets (3%) and police officers (3.3%).

The ONS also estimated the proportion of people by occupation who had received three Covid-19 vaccinations.

For close-proximity jobs, levels were highest among specialist doctors (90.5%), GPs (87.2%), specialist nurses (87.2%) and headteachers (86.8%), and lowest for bar staff (38.1%), beauticians (38.8%), waiters and waitresses (38.8%) and roofers (42.6%).

Among all occupations, scaffolders and riggers (39.5%), sports players (40.1%) and coffee shop workers (41.1%) were estimated to have similarly low levels of all three jabs.

The figures are likely to have been influenced by the prioritisation of older age groups during the rollout of boosters in autumn 2021, with younger adults being offered a jab only towards the end of last year.

The figures show 64.9% of all people in employment in England had been fully vaccinated, with 8.8% having received no jab at all.

Boris Johnson announced on 12 December that all over-18s would be eligible for a booster dose, amid the spread of the Omicron variant of the virus.

A day later, the government's "plan B" measures came into force, with people encouraged to work from home if they could.

Those regulations, which included mandatory face coverings, ended on Thursday, with COVID cases having plummeted from the early January peak - though deaths and hospital admissions are decreasing at a much slower rate.

The government continues to encourage people to get their vaccine and their booster, despite the falling number of cases.

The UK has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with over 90% of eligible people n having had at least one dose, 84% two doses and 65% three doses.

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