At national and aggregate levels, COVID-19 vaccination across G7 countries appears successful. To date, 79.4% of the total population of G7 countries have received a first dose, 72.9% a second, and 45.4% a booster shot (28th April 2022 data).
In France, 80.6% of the total population has had a first dose, 78.2 % have had two doses, and 55.4% have had their booster jabs (28th of April 2022 data). In the UK, 79.3% of the total population has received one dose, 74.1% a second one, and 58.5% have received a booster. In Italy, 85.2% of the total population has had a first dose, 80.4% have had two doses, and 66.5% have had their booster jabs (28th of April 2022 data). These figures indicate enthusiasm across G7 countries for COVID-19 vaccines.
Yet high overall vaccination rates at the national level, disguise significant in-country disparities. For example, by the end of 2021, less than 50% of residents of the Northern Districts of Marseille were vaccinated, compared with over 70% in wealthier neighbourhoods. In the Ealing borough of Northwest London, 70% of the eligible population has had a first dose – which is almost 10% percent below the national average (4th of April 2022 data). Disparities are also seen in other urban metropolises across the G7.
This brief investigates these disparities through the lens of “vaccine (in)equity”, focusing on the role of local actors. It builds on ethnographic and qualitative research carried out in the Northern Districts of Marseille and ongoing research engagement around vaccine equity in Ealing (Northwest London), as well as qualitative research carried out in Italy among networks of healthcare providers, intercultural mediators, and civil society organizations that collaborated during the COVID-19 campaign in the Emilia Romagna region and in Rome.
This brief is based on research conducted between October and December 2021 in Marseille and ongoing engagement in Ealing which started in May 2021. It identified how local governments, health actors, community groups and residents play key roles in shaping vaccine (in)equity. This brief was developed for SSHAP by Santiago Ripoll (IDS), Tabitha Hrynick (IDS), Ashley Ouvrier (LaSSA), Megan Schmidt-Sane (IDS), Federico Federici (UCL) and Elizabeth Storer (LSE). It was reviewed by Eloisa Franchi (Università degli Studi di Pavia) and Ellen Schwartz (Hackney Council Public Health). The research was funded through the British Academy COVID-19 Recovery: G7 Fund (COVG7210038). Research was based at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Susssex, and the Laboratoire de Sciences Sociales Appliquées (LaSSA). The brief is the responsibility of SSHAP.