Monthly Archives: January 2023

Research News | A qualitative study of factors influencing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among South Asians in London

Research News | A qualitative study of factors influencing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among South Asians in London

Dr Raj S. Chandok | Dr Poonam Madar | Professor Azeem Majeed

I recently led a research project examining factors influencing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among South Asians in London. I am pleased to announce that our study has now been published in JRSM OPEN and is available for you to read here:

About the study

In the summer and autumn of 2021, Dr Poonam Madar, Ph.D., interviewed patients and healthcare professionals to explore their views on the COVID-19 vaccine, including their decision-making on whether or not to vaccinate.

In light of our study, we found that before COVID-19, the relationship of all our participants with vaccines seems to have been easy and unproblematic. However, in the COVID-19 era, it was clear from the outset that their concerns and hesitancies were specific to these particular vaccines – thus giving rise to more factors.

We appreciate that there are no quick fixes or simple solutions when it comes to solving complex matters. Nevertheless, I am committed to deepening our understanding of these issues – which our new paper also reflects.

And finally… 

I would like to take this opportunity here to express my gratitude to the participants who gave their time and shared their experiences for their contribution to the study.

Dr Raj Chandok



About the authors 

Dr Raj Chandok has worked in the NHS for 25 years and been the Lead GP Partner at his practice for 20 years. His general practice provides holistic primary care services to 12,500 Patients over two sites in Southall and Hayes in North West London. He has a continuum of responsibility from oversight of operational day to day management to achieving the long term strategic objectives of the partnership. In addition, Raj holds a number of Voluntary roles, such as appearing on Sunrise Radio to explain about developments during this pandemic and to deliver key messages. He writes a monthly article for the KCW London newspaper, as well as serving as the chair of Southall GPs for Let’s go Southall; a multi-year, programme funded by Sport England and aimed at encouraging increasing physical activities in the residents of Southall. He is actively pursuing his research interests and working on a number of forthcoming research publications.

During 2012 – 2020, Raj served as Vice-Chair of NHS Ealing CCG, led on diabetes strategy in Ealing, published several peer reviewed research papers on diabetes strategy and integrated care, he played a leading part in the award winning North West London Diabetes programme. In 2015, Raj was awarded fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners, in recognition of a significant contribution to medicine, and general practice in particular; fellows act as ambassadors for RCGP. Raj completed a Masters in Medical Ethics at Imperial College London in 2003.

Raj comes from a family of medics, his father, mother, and late brother Bikram, have collectively provided over 120 years of service to the NHS.


Dr Poonam Madar, Ph.D. is a writer, sociologist, and research consultant. After winning a scholarship at the University of Warwick, she went on to graduate with a PhD in Applied Social Studies. Poonam specialises in Qualitative Methodologies, Visual Culture, and the Sociology of Emotion. She writes on social issues and factors that influence the human condition, and is presently working on a number of forthcoming publications. Poonam has over 20 years of extensive experience in the world of teaching and learning, having taught across universities in and around London, including having been the only woman to be nominated as Lecturer of the Year in her Law Department (2018). She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of International Politics at City, University of London. For two years (2017-2019), Poonam was a Sprint coach and mentor; an immersive personal development programme that aims to inspire and empower women in achieving their goals. She currently sits on the Board of Directors at Lapidus International—the Literary Arts for Personal Development with a focus on writing for therapeutic purposes. In 2022, Poonam created and curated Ealing’s first ever writing trail supported by Ealing Council’s NEW Ealing Together Fund.


Professor Azeem Majeed is the Professor of Primary Care and Public Health, and Head of the Department of Primary Care and Public Health at Imperial College London. He is also an NIHR Senior Investigator. Azeem qualified at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff, Wales. He is accredited in both General Practice and Public Health Medicine and began his academic career at St. George’s Hospital Medical School as a Lecturer in Epidemiology & Public Health Medicine. Azeem was later promoted to Senior Lecturer in Primary Care and then moved to a Senior Lecturer post at University College London, where he had a joint appointment between the School of Public Policy and the Department of Primary Care & Population Sciences.

In 2000, Azeem gained a five-year primary care senior scientist award, which allowed him to spend more time on research. His research interests are in: chronic disease management, particularly diabetes and cardiovascular disorders; health policy and the organisation and delivery of health care; the use of information for policy, planning and research; developing innovative methodologies for primary care and public health research using clinical and administrative databases; and the use of new technology to improve healthcare.

Azeem was promoted to Professor by University College London in 2002 and went on to take up the post of Professor of Primary Care and Head of the Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College London in 2004.