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Original research
Differences in COVID-19 vaccination coverage by occupation in England: a national linked data study
  1. Vahe Nafilyan1,2,
  2. Ted Dolby1,
  3. Katie Finning1,
  4. Piotr Pawelek1,
  5. Rhiannon Edge3,
  6. Jasper Morgan1,
  7. Myer Glickman1,
  8. Neil Pearce2,
  9. Martie van Tongeren4
  1. 1 Health Analysis and Life Events Division, Office for National Statistics, Newport, UK
  2. 2 Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  3. 3 Lancaster Medical School, Lancaster University, Lancaster UK
  4. 4 Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care, The University of Manchester, Manchester UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Vahe Nafilyan, Office for National Statistics, Newport, Newport, UK; vahe.nafilyan{at}


Background Monitoring differences in COVID-19 vaccination uptake in different groups is crucial to help inform the policy response to the pandemic. A key data gap is the absence of data on uptake by occupation. This study investigates differences in vaccination rates by occupation in England, using nationwide population-level data.

Methods We calculated the proportion of people who had received three COVID-19 vaccinations (assessed on 28 February 2022) by detailed occupational categories in adults aged 18–64 and estimated adjusted ORs to examine whether these differences were driven by occupation or other factors, such as education. We also examined whether vaccination rates differed by ability to work from home.

Results Our study population included 15 456 651 adults aged 18–64 years. Vaccination rates differed markedly by occupation, being higher in health professionals (84.7%) and teaching and other educational professionals (83.6%) and lowest in people working in elementary trades and related occupations (57.6%). We found substantial differences in vaccination rates looking at finer occupational groups. Adjusting for other factors likely to be linked to occupation and vaccination, such as education, did not substantially alter the results. Vaccination rates were associated with ability to work from home, the rate being higher in occupations which can be done from home. Many occupations with low vaccination rates also involved contact with the public or with vulnerable people

Conclusions Increasing vaccination coverage in occupations with low vaccination rates is crucial to help protecting the public and control infection. Efforts should be made to increase vaccination rates in occupations that cannot be done from home and involve contact with the public.

  • COVID-19
  • Occupational Health

Data availability statement

Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. Whilst data are currently not publicly available, they will be made available via the ONS Secure Research Service once the 2021 Census microdata are cleared for release.

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Data availability statement

Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. Whilst data are currently not publicly available, they will be made available via the ONS Secure Research Service once the 2021 Census microdata are cleared for release.

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  • VN and TD are joint first authors.

  • NP and MvT are joint senior authors.

  • Twitter @martievt

  • Contributors Study conceptualisation was led by VN and TD. VN and TD contributed to the development of the research question, study design, with development of statistical aspects led by TD and VN. TD and VN were involved in data specification, curation and collection. TD, PP and VN conducted and checked the statistical analyses. VN, TD, KF, RE, MG, NP, MvT, contributed to the interpretation of the results. VN wrote the first draft of the paper. TD, MG, KF, RE, NP, MvT contributed to the critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content and approved the final version of the manuscript. VN had full access to all data in the study and takes responsibility of the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. VN affirms that the manuscript is an honest, accurate, and transparent account of the study being reported; that no important aspects of the study have been omitted; and that any discrepancies from the study as planned have been explained. VN is the garantor of the study, and accepts full responsibility for the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish.

  • Funding This work was funded by ONS and supported by funding through the National Core Study 'PROTECT' programme, managed by the Health and Safety Executive on behalf of HM Government.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.