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No 'one size fits all' approach to Covid vaccine

03/11/20 . News

The Forum has called on government and the NHS to consider how best to reach different groups with any future vaccine.

Of course, not all men are the same. Nor are all women. But there are general differences that suggest that we need gender-sensitive targeting to maximise the take-up of the vaccine.

As previously reported on this website, men as a whole are more likely to be sceptical of the seriousness of Covid-19 and are less likely to take preventative action - be that mask wearing, social distancing or compliance with other rules.

When it comes to vaccines, government figures show that while working age men are less likely to get a flu vaccination than women, men are actually less likely to be sceptical about the benefits of vaccines than women. Anti-vaccination campaigns are often led by women.

There's also a need for age sensitivity. According to polling, the under 34s are twice as likely not to get vaccinated as the over 55s. Supporting this, the Forum has heard anecdotally that as the vaccine rolls out, younger groups may see less need to be vaccinated once older and higher risk groups have been.

The Forum is calling for:

  • Intersectional analysis to develop a deeper understanding of the different barriers to vaccination between men and women - broken down by gender, age, ethnicity, deprivation and so on - and the public health messages and interventions needed to overcome them
  • Targeted outreach to workplaces and areas visited by men (such as football grounds)
  • Targeted communication to overcome the different barriers amongst different groups - amongst men, this could include use of role models (celebrities or men in positively-perceived roles such as emergency service workers) and the highlighting of the much higher risk of Covid-19 to men. 

The Men’s Health Forum need your support

It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. Especially during a major pandemic like Covid-19. So we’re asking.

Men appear more likely to get Covid-19 and far, far more likely to die from it. The Men's Health Forum are working hard pushing for more action on this from government, from health professionals and from all of us. Why are men more affected and what can we do about it? We need the data. We need the research. We need the action. Currently we're the only UK charity doing this - please help us.

Here’s our fund-raising page - please chip in if you can.

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