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Amber Sacre

Host university: Newcastle University

PhD research project: Unequal vaccines? A mixed methods study exploring socioeconomic inequalities in vaccine uptake in the North of England.

Project summary: My project explores whether socioeconomic disadvantaged, such as low levels of education or of a lower socioeconomic status, unintentionally affects the uptake of a particular vaccine. As well as establishing if there is a relationship, the project aims to identify structural mechanisms which may cause low rates of uptake.

The project will begin with an umbrella systematic review to understand the existing empirical evidence, followed by a statistical analysis of UK vaccine uptake datasets.

Different demographical and geographical characteristics, specifically those of a socioeconomic nature, will be incorporated into the analysis to isolate potentially influential variables.

A specific vaccine, or small group of vaccines, will be chosen as the focus of the project after the umbrella systematic review and statistical analysis have been conducted.

The empirical investigation will be concluded with interviews of local government individuals involved in organising immunisation programmes and members of the public. The interviews aim to understand the lived reality of inequalities in vaccine uptake and ascertain whether measures are being taken to reduce the disparities.

One overarching goal of the project is to establish whether the literature and statistical analysis findings marry with the experiences of the public experiencing these socioeconomic inequalities.

My background and research interests: I have a background in sociology and statistics, and therefore am particularly interested in mixed methods research – using quantitative evidence to guide the qualitative methods.

Expected PhD completion date: 2024

Contact: [email protected]