Roofers, beauticians and bar staff are among the occupations where people work close to each other but which are likely to have the highest levels of non-vaccination against Covid-19, new figures suggest.
Around one in five (20.8%) roofers and tilers in England aged 18 to 64 have not received a vaccine, along with roughly the same proportion of complementary medicine professionals (20.9%) and beauticians (19.5%).
Other jobs that involve working in close physical proximity with fellow employees but have comparatively high levels of non-vaccination include telesales workers (17.2%), bar staff (16.5%) and road construction operatives (16.1%).
The figures, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), are the first to estimate levels of non-vaccination among all working adults in England under the age of 65, as well as breaking down the figures according to how close employees are to each other – defined as being within an arm’s length or touching.
Jobs that fall in this category where at least one in seven people are likely to be unvaccinated include bricklayers (15.7%), security guards (14.9%) and hairdressers and barbers (14.6%).
The figure is closer to one in 10 for chefs (11.5%), care workers and home carers (10.3%) and shopkeepers (10%).
By contrast, some of the lowest estimates for close-proximity occupations are for headteachers (1.9% unvaccinated), GPs (2.4%), vets (three percent) and police officers (3.3%).
For all jobs, regardless of the proximity of other employees, the highest level of non-vaccination was estimated to be among people working in “elementary construction occupations” – such as carrying building materials and digging trenches – with nearly one in four (23.2%) likely to have received no doses.
Some of the non-close-proximity jobs with high estimates of non-vaccination were scaffolders and riggers (22.3%), delivery operatives (19.6%) and packers, bottlers and canners (18.8%).
All figures are for vaccinations delivered up to December 31, based on people recorded in the 2011 and 2021 censuses and registered with a GP.
Occupations that require working in close physical proximity to others also had large variation in vaccine coverage.
— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) January 28, 2022
The ONS also estimated the proportion of people by occupation who had received three Covid-19 vaccinations.
For close-proximity jobs, levels were highest among specialist doctors (90.5%), GPs (87.2%), specialist nurses (87.2%) and head teachers (86.8%), and lowest for bar staff (38.1%), beauticians (38.8%), waiters and waitresses (38.8%) and roofers (42.6%).
Among all occupations, scaffolders and riggers (39.5%), sports players (40.1%) and coffee shop workers (41.1%) were estimated to have similarly low levels of all three jabs.
The figures are likely to have been influenced by the prioritisation of older age groups during the rollout of boosters in autumn 2021, with younger adults being offered a jab only towards the end of last year.
A surge in infections in December, driven by the Omicron variant of Covid-19, might also have affected take-up.
People are not able to receive any doses of Covid-19 vaccine within 28 days of having had the virus.