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Research project uses shared record data to understand Covid-19 vaccine uptake and inequalities

04 March 2022

A study using data from the Greater Manchester Care Record (GMCR) to understand Covid-19 vaccine uptake and inequalities across the Greater Manchester population, particularly between different ethnic groups, has been published.

The research identified wide inequalities in Covid-19 vaccine uptake between ethnic groups in the region. These were far wider than for routine flu vaccination, suggesting the Covid-19 vaccine rollout has exacerbated inequalities.

In response to the findings, the research team has suggested further research and policy action is needed to understand and remove barriers to vaccine uptake, and to build trust and confidence amongst minority ethnic communities in the area.

Graphnet powers the GMCR to join up information from various NHS and care services to support healthcare professionals and other frontline workers across all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs. Covering the city region’s 2.8 million residents, it is a vital resource that can be used to provide data-driven research to support health and care services.

Dr Ruth Watkinson, Research Associate at the University of Manchester, has been nominated for a BioNow Award for her work on the study. The awards recognise and celebrate ingenuity and achievements across the north of England’s life sciences sector. Dr Watkinson has been shortlisted in the ‘Promising technologist of the year’ category and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 31 March 2022.

Dr Watkinson said: It is a real honour to be shortlisted for this award. I recently changed fields from molecular biology to applied health research because I wanted my research to have direct relevance to health care organisation and health policy. It’s therefore been fantastic to be one of the first researchers to use the Greater Manchester Care Record, which has come together as a result of a huge amount of work and collaboration between the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Greater Manchester local authorities, Health Innovation Manchester, Graphnet Health and The University of Manchester – including Manchester Biomedical Research Centre.