The number of people willing to get a COVID-19 vaccination is rising in the US and UK, but falling in several other countries, a global survey has uncovered.
The findings from the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Ipsos show that the percentage of people who “strongly agree” with getting a COVID-19 vaccine has risen from 29% to 38% in the US since last October.
The proportion has risen from 41% to 46% in the UK, however, intent has fallen by five percentage points or more in South Africa, France, Japan, and South Korea.
A total of 13,500 adults in 15 countries participated in the survey, which was carried out just days after COVID-19 vaccinations first started in the UK.
In every country surveyed, between 57% and 80% of those who said they would not take a COVID-19 vaccine mentioned being worried about the side effects.
“As vaccinations rollout, it is encouraging to see confidence improve most in countries where vaccines are already made available,” said Arnaud Bernaert, head of health and healthcare at the WEF.
“It is critical that governments and the private sector come together to build confidence and ensure that manufacturing capacity meets the global demand.”
Doubts about effectiveness were the second-most common reason for not wanting to get a vaccine in many countries, cited by 45% of people in Russia, but just 17% in Japan.
Not being enough at risk from COVID-19 was mentioned by 32% in China and 25% in the UK, but only by 8% in South Korea.
Opposition to vaccines in general was cited by about one in four of those who won’t get a COVID-19 vaccine in Russia and South Africa, but by fewer than 10% in South Korea, Japan, and China.
Overall, in eight of the 15 countries surveyed, more than two-thirds respondents agreed they would get a vaccine if available, compared to only around four in 10 in France and Russia.
“COVID-19 is a global health crisis and global solutions are needed,” Bernaert said. “We encourage cooperation between researchers and manufacturers and public funding arrangements that remove restrictions to vaccine access.”
Image credit: iStock
Author: Chris Seekings