As the first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were administered in the UK, research* shows that in general, the majority of Brits are favour of compulsory vaccination.

However, a third of us don’t know where our vaccination certificate is – and we also lag behind most of Europe in knowing which diseases can be vaccinated against.

Research by Kantar Health among 2,010 people across the UK aged between 18 and 99 by STADA Group, parent company of Huddersfield-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Thornton & Ross (T&R), found that 85 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of compulsory vaccination – higher than the average across Europe.

As part of the STADA 2020 Health Report, 24,087 people were surveyed across 12 European countries to gather a snapshot of attitudes towards health and care. Figures show that a third (32 per cent) of UK respondents did not know where their vaccination certificate was – the highest national proportion in the survey. Just one in five had looked at their vaccination documents recently.

While research was carried out before the Covid-19 vaccine was rolled out, only one in 10 was concerned about the side effects of vaccines and just two per cent believed they did not work; only the Spanish were more sceptical about their efficiency.

One in 20 in the UK said they felt patronised by compulsory vaccinations, in line with the five per cent survey average. Almost half (46 per cent) said compulsory vaccination was important to protect society – although many did not know which diseases could be vaccinated against.

While many knew about the measles vaccine, many were unaware of the availability of chickenpox, hepatitis A/B and cervical cancer/HPV vaccines. Some (14 per cent) wrongly believed there is a vaccine against norovirus while nine per cent believed an AIDS vaccine existed.

Roger Scarlett-Smith, executive vice-president at T&R, said while the research had been carried out before the recent development of Covid-19 vaccines, it provided a fascinating snapshot of attitudes in general to compulsory inoculation.

“It is interesting to note that the vast majority of people in this country see the value of compulsory vaccination against diseases such as measles – and that side effects were not a major concern. While the research was conducted before the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, it is important to note that almost half believed inoculation played a role in protecting society.

“I’m sure that given the global pandemic, people will now give more thought to where their vaccination certificate is kept and also what is on it.”

T&R develops, manufactures and supplies a wide range of branded over-the-counter medicines, dermatological solutions and other healthcare and hygiene products including Savlon®, Zoflora®, Hedrin® and Setlers® at its headquarters in Linthwaite, Huddersfield.