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Being unvaccinated associated with more negative views towards Welsh devolution, research finds

10 May 2022 4 minute read
Left, picture by Dr. Eilir Hughes. Right, Mark Drakeford.

Being unvaccinated is associated with more negative views towards Welsh devolution, researchers have found.

That was one of the findings of research by Bangor University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Public Health Wales and the University of Kentucky into attitudes towards Covid-19 vaccines in coal mining communities in Wales and the US.

Those who were unvaccinated were more likely to have voted for the Brexit Party or Green Party in Wales and for Donald Trump in the US. In both countries, people who did not vote were less likely to be vaccinated.

“In Wales, those who expressed ‘devosceptic’ or hostile attitudes towards Welsh devolution were also less likely to be vaccinated,” the research said.

“It was unclear whether this relationship represented a natural alignment between the values underlying devoscepticism in Wales and vaccine hesitance, or whether this was simply contingent on the Welsh Government’s more cautious approach to the pandemic than that of the UK Government in England.”

Interviews with research participants echoed this theme, they said, with many vaccinated respondents praising the Welsh Government response, while some unvaccinated respondents favoured the English approach.

The researchers concluded that “people’s identities may be relevant for how they respond to public health advice”.

Their findings are published in a new report, Covid and the coalfield: Vaccine hesitance in Wales and Appalachia.

‘Inequalities’

The researchers also found that people  living in areas with a strong coal mining tradition were more sceptical about vaccines and more suspicious of official accounts of the pandemic, compared to non-coalfield areas.

In Appalachia, these attitudes were mirrored by lower vaccination uptake among those living in coalfield areas, but in Wales vaccination rates were similar in coalfield and non-coalfield areas.

In both countries, people who were socially isolated were less likely to be vaccinated, as were people who had experienced economic hardship during the pandemic. Feeling part of a strong local community made people more likely to accept the offer of vaccination.

As part of the research, academics conducted surveys and interviews asking 9,000 people living in Wales and Central Appalachia about vaccination status and views on COVID-19, economic status, social lives, and political preferences.

Dr. Christopher Saville, Clinical Lecturer at Bangor University and a member of the research team, said: “Coalfield regions in South Wales and Central Appalachia share experiences of industrialisation and deindustrialisation which have left a legacy of health, social and economic inequalities that endure to the present day.

“More positively, people living in these areas have a strong sense of community and solidarity with one another. Understanding the role these factors play in vaccination is critical as our decisions around vaccination are informed by a desire to protect people around us, as well as ourselves.

“Taking part in activities – like sports clubs, trade unions, social clubs and community organisations, or indeed voting – that strengthen the social fabric appears to have a role in positive attitudes to vaccination. That is a valuable insight which could contribute to post-Covid recovery, particularly in regions where COVID-19 is just one of many challenges over recent decades, and even help us prepare for future pandemics.”

Health

Professor Daniel Thomas, Consultant Epidemiologist for Public Health Wales, and a member of the research team said the opportunity to work with public health practitioners in Eastern Kentucky was “both fascinating and incredibly rewarding”.

“I hope we will be able to build on this partnership and mutual learning between colleagues in the US and Wales to help improve public health in coal mining communities on both sides of the Atlantic,” he said.

The project was funded by the British Academy, the UK’s national academy of the humanities and social sciences and is part of an in-depth research programme to examine the underlying factors behind COVID-19 vaccine confidence and hesitancy in different communities.


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Quornby
Quornby
2 months ago

Stupidity knows no boundaries.

Mike
Mike
2 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

You are obviously talking about the welsh assembly, (60 AMs to 96 AMs), they take your taxes and criminally waste them, while the welsh NHS is in meltdown, yes stupidity knows no boundaries.

Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Nope, the evidence bears out that it is you and your anti vac Cymrophobe ilk that are stupid

John
John
2 months ago

Was there also a demographic factor at work?
Was there a greater tendency for older people and the lesser educated to demonstrate a more anti-Welsh attitude?
Where can we access this research?

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
2 months ago
Reply to  John

For those who are interested, as a supporter of the research, I just had an email with a copy of the Report. However all the stuff is apparently available here: https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/news/the-british-academy-publishes-studies-examining-covid-vaccine-engagement-in-uk-and-usa/
I can offer no insights having only just received the email.

John
John
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Diolch

Llinos
Llinos
2 months ago
Reply to  John

I read the report posted by Peter. It does not state explicitly, but seems to be strongly implied that general educational level was lower in the pro-leave, pro-UK Gov, anti- Senedd anti-vaccine respondents. I’d need to investigate the raw data to see if this is included in the dataset, but given all the other common intersections it seems highly likely that the anti-vaccine respondents were educated to a lower level than the vaccinated. (I’m not going to check the raw data though. I don’t need the homework)

Cedric Wyn Jones
Cedric Wyn Jones
2 months ago
Reply to  John

Are you talking about people who failed the 11 plus.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
2 months ago

No! No! The 11+ was no measure at all of educational attainment. All it did was to create a large body of young people who felt that they had ‘failed’ when they were still too young to have done any such thing. No, by educational attainment we are talking about whether folk have done A levels, or equivalent BTEC qualifications, degrees, NEBSS, CMS, DMS and so on, not to mention City & Guilds. Basically it would seem that people who keep going after school and getting training have their horizons widened and become more questioning. My wife’s team on the… Read more »

Mike
Mike
2 months ago
Reply to  John

Well i know 85%of people who do not speak welsh, get real.

Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Really? Name them. you get real. Petulant chld

Mike
Mike
2 months ago
Reply to  Cynan

You need to get a life, you know full well 85% of welsh people do not speak welsh, but how about you naming all these people that want independence?, and calling me a child shows me your arrogant ignorance towards common sense.

Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike

No. I know the FACTS, not what you would wish from whichever part of Kent you call home.
You petulant child

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 months ago

This doesn’t surprise me one iota. Most who are Anti-devolution usually lean towards the extreme right of politics, either vote UKIP, Brexit party , True Wales or Abolish the Welsh Assembly with their default party being Conservative. They also continually refer to freedom & patriotism whilst using the in-word for most narrow-minded bigots which is the woke agenda, but ironically want to curtail our right as Welsh people to self-government refering disrespectfully to our Senedd Cymru still as an Assembly, not Welsh Parliament, and its members WAGs still not MSs. They also argue cost the reason why they want to… Read more »

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
2 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Agreed, but are we back in the same place we were with Brexit? The better educated a person was the greater liklihood there was they would vote against Brexit, unless they were extremely rich and understood the real point of Brexit.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Yes, I suppose education played a part, sure, but you also had ones in the poorest communities that benefitted from millions of EU Structual Funding voted for Brexit too. A political paradox akin to turkeys voting for Christmas. Sadly Brexit voters in Wales having no real independent news outlets to speak of unlike Scotland were enticed by the Rupert Murdoch England-based right-wing populist media that promised riches and a land of milk and honey if we voted to leave. Also. It didn’t help that the Labour party under known Eurosceptic Jeremy Corbin’s leadership went AWOL. The benefits of staying in… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Y Cymro
Rob
Rob
2 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Corbyn’s campaign for remain was something along the lines of “we need let to the immigrants in as its the humane thing to do.” No economic reasons were given, nor was Nigel Farage’s false rhetoric being challenged enough. He was just giving ammunition to the leave side.

Mike
Mike
2 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

What a load of complete rubbish spoken on here, if you want to abolish the assembly then you probably voted for brexit ?, and you probably did not get vaccinated ??, and are probably poorly educated ???, the lengths you people go to push welsh and the assembly at people is truly sickening, what a sad group you are grasping at any silly straw to justify madness.

Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike

They are called statistics. They were collected collated and interpreted by Universities in Cymru and in Kentucky USA. It is not the world in a conspiracy against you Mike. You are simply wrong. But you just have a bad case of the Dunning Krugers. you should stop the daytime drinking

Mike
Mike
2 months ago
Reply to  Cynan

You really are weird, are you on day release from the assembly ?.

Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Mikey, whilst turnabout is fair play, and it’s kinda cute you trying to repeat my witty put downs back at me. But when you do it, it just seems sad! Maybe you are struggling to stay relevant since you got made redundant?

lufcwls
lufcwls
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike

It’s called statistical research Mike, not opinions. Perhaps you should Google it instead of dismissing it.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
2 months ago
Reply to  lufcwls

Yes indeed and we need to be aware that any individual who voted for (say) Brexit might also be in favour of Independence, and the Senedd and have a portfolio of educational qualifications. That is because everybody is different. However, what we are saying is that the majority of those who voted for Brexit had, on average, lower educational achievements than those who voted remain. We are not saying that the statistics show every Brexiteer had a lesser collection of educational certificates just that most did. If one looks at the original research reports you can see the percentages and… Read more »

Rob
Rob
2 months ago

You mentioned the Green party, are their voters anti-devolution?
Populism, anti-establishment feeling, the refusal to believe in facts, this can apply to the far left as it does to the far right.
Conspiracy theories about vaccines, globalism, new world order etc. The belief that Trump won the 2020 election, or that Putin was right to invade Ukraine.
Dangerous times

Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Bias on my part perhaps but I often imagine a lot of (not all) green voters like getting baked. I wouldn’t call them Far Left though. Socially libertarian perhaps. In the same way that weirdoes like Joe Rogan, Ben Shapiro, Alex Jones etc describe themselves as libertarians (despite their authoritarian and quite frankly vengeful attitudes towards “liberals”) Basically “libertarians” (meaning selfish people) are the issue here. Anarchists without the ideology but with added spite and selfishness, hoping that some maverick “libertarian” strongman (always specifically a man) will come along and save them from the evil deep state, by shouting simple… Read more »

Steve George
Steve George
2 months ago

This is surely good news! Those who are anti devolution are less likely to survive. 🤣🤣

Cedric Wyn Jones
Cedric Wyn Jones
2 months ago

He is TWP and does not think as I think he should think.

Erisian
Erisian
2 months ago

Also associated with reading the right wing tabloids.

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
2 months ago

Well, on the basis of that bit of highly politicised science, it should be possible to achieve the Nationalist Utopia very quickly, with a mass inoculation against any tendency in the population of Wales to think Wrong Thoughts. Get all the obviously mentally defective and unreconstructed British in our midst jabbed to lower their resistance to the programme, and you will ensure the unthinking loyalty of these ‘Manchurian Candidates’ to their Masters in Cardiff.

Think that is ridiculous? You certainly ought to.

Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago
Reply to  Philip Davies

I think you are.

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
2 months ago
Reply to  Cynan

You are evidently one of the fanatical, po-faced and utterly humourless apparatchiks of the the New Welsh Order. I think your impervious arrogance is dangerous, actually.

Cynan
Cynan
2 months ago
Reply to  Philip Davies

It really is difficult for you to accuse other people of being humourless whilst snarling politically loaded labels like “apparatchiks”.
My response was quick, witty and provocative. It certainly made you lose your mind in fury 😁

Dewi
Dewi
2 months ago

A quaint attempt to start tarring those with issues about the devolved administration. I’m triple jabbed and still don’t see the efficacy in the actions of the Senedd (even if the idea is noble). They expand themselves, to consume more tax money that could better be spent, by the extant senedd, on actually improving the numerous aspects that cause trouble for Welsh people: the NHS’ imminent staffing collapse for one, the rank and file corruption and inefficiency across local councils for two, the public infrastructure decay endemic everywhere outside of Cardiff for three. Equally, they seem far more interested in… Read more »

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