Confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine grows in UK and US, but global concerns about side effects are on the rise

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Kirsten Salyer, Opinion Editor, World Economic Forum

  • The latest World Economic Forum-Ipsos survey on vaccine confidence shows that strong intent to get a COVID-19 vaccine has risen in the UK and the US, two countries where vaccines have started to be administered.
  • However, vaccine confidence has dropped in most other countries surveyed.
  • The main reason people say they would not get a COVID-19 vaccine is concern about side effects.

The first COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered around the world, offering hope that an end to the pandemic could be in sight.

Yet challenges to ensuring an inclusive, effective distribution of the vaccines remain. Even in countries where vaccines stand to increasingly be available to wider sections of the population, one hurdle will be public resistance to vaccination.

The latest World Economic Forum-Ipsos survey on vaccine confidence offers an optimistic sign that attitudes toward vaccines could change. According to the survey, strong intent to be vaccinated has risen in the US and the UK, following the release of the vaccine in the two countries.

At the same time, vaccine confidence has dropped in many other countries, according to the 15-country survey conducted 17-20 December among 13,500 adults.

Vaccine confidence around the world

According to the survey, vaccination intent is highest in China, where 80% of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement “if a vaccine for COVID-19 were available, I would get it.”

Countries with fairly high intent include Brazil (78%), the UK (77%), Mexico (77%), Australia (75%) and South Korea (75%).

Among the countries surveyed, those whose populations reported the lowest intent were South Africa (53%), Russia (43%) and France (40%).

Image: World Economic Forum-IPSOS

Changes in vaccine confidence

Since October, the percentage of respondents who strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement “if a vaccine for COVID-19 were available, I would get it” has increased in the US by 5 points.

At the same time, it has dropped across all the other countries surveyed, with the most notable declines in South Africa (-15 points), France (-14), Japan (-9) and South Korea (-8). December also marks the first time since August that overall vaccination confidence was below 50% in any country.

Looking just at those who strongly agree with the statement shows the US with an increase of 9 points (to 38%) and the UK with an increase in 5 points (to 46%). Of those countries showing a decline in those who strongly agree, none show a drop of more than 7 points.

Reasons for not wanting a vaccine

In every country surveyed, between 57% and 80% of those who say they would not take a COVID-19 vaccine report concern about the side effects (up from 34% in October).

This concern was highest in South Korea (80%), Japan (76%) and France (72%).

Image: World Economic Forum-IPSOS

The second-highest reason cited was effectiveness, with Russia showing the highest concern at 45%, followed by Mexico (28%) and Italy (27%).

The third-highest reason was not being enough at risk from COVID-19, seen most in China (32%), the UK (25%) and Canada (23%).

In 2019, the World Health Organisation listed public hesitancy towards vaccination as one of the Top 10 Threats to Global Health. This survey shows that more must be done to promote safe, inclusive distribution – and increase confidence in vaccines around the world.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How technology can help us achieve universal healthcare

Manufacturing reimagined: from improved productivity to profitable growth

Venezuela: MEPs demand free presidential elections and an end to repression

Carbon neutrality and funds for EU programmes are EP priorities for EU summit

International community has achieved unprecedented success fighting offshore tax evasion

ECOFIN: Choosing between the re-unification of Eurozone and a stalemate

Why the way of loving closes doors of health?

“One Belt One Road”: Its relevance to the European Companies

Brussels enraged with Swiss referendum result to keep out EU citizens

Vote at 16 in Malta: next stop Europe

GSMA Mobile 360 Series –Digital Societies, in association with The European Sting

The entire Australian state of New South Wales is in drought

Climate change and health – can medical students be the solution?

Industrial products: Lifting the last impediments in the EU single market

It’s time to end our ‘separate but unequal’ approach to mental health

State aid: Commission refers Greece to Court for failure to recover incompatible State aid from mining company Larco

Cultural diversity can drive economies. Here are lessons from India and South Asia

EU Budget 2020 deal: Investing more in climate action, youth and research

‘All atrocity crimes are preventable’ and can never be justified – UN chief

Trying to cure bank cancer with analgesics

Sassoli: Migration agreement respects fundamental principles of Parliament’s proposal

The invisible L word: the struggles to achieve SRHR, as HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment for lesbian population

Ceasefire holds in Tripoli, but core problems remain, says UN Libya mission chief

UN underscores the need to celebrate indigenous peoples, not confine them

This is how wellbeing drives social change and why cultural leaders need to talk about it

Impact of high debt levels on least developed countries ‘cannot be overstated’, says UN

YouTube stars get creative at UN, to promote tolerance

Gender minority and health sector: promoting mental health with better medical education

EU Parliament raises burning issues over the FTA with the US

Everybody against Japan over yen’s devaluation

LGBTQI+ and medicine, in the Land of the Pure

JADE Spring Conference 2018 is on its way: Young entrepreneurs gather in Brussels to shape Europe

EU: Huge surplus in the trade of services with the rest of the world

The success story of a Chinese investment in the Greek port of Piraeus

Christmas spending: Who can afford not to cut?

The staggering loss of the Arctic Ocean’s oldest sea ice shown in time-lapse

Blockchain is not a magic bullet for security. Can it be trusted?

Capital Markets Union: Commission reports on progress achieved ahead of European Council

Who really cares about the 26.2 million of EU jobless?

Four major resources for new European young entrepreneurs

Why gin made from peas helps the environment

FROM THE FIELD: Argentina Preserving Pristine Forests

Sustainability, peace, security ‘best guarantee against instability’ Guterres to Security Council

Empowering people living with HIV ‘will end the epidemic’, says AIDS agency chief

Malaysia’s last Sumatran rhino died – here are more species on the verge of extinction

Foreign direct investments the success secrete of Eurozone

Migrant workers sent more money to India than any other country last year

What does artificial intelligence do in medicine?

Cameron postpones speech in Holland

Aid funding for Occupied Palestinian Territories at ‘all-time low’

Bias in AI is a real problem. Here’s what we should do about it

EU is officially in recession

UN honours peacekeepers who ‘paid the ultimate price’, for the sake of others

Climate action ‘both a priority and a driver of the decade’: Guterres

EU’s VAT system further equipped to tackle fraud in e-commerce and to help small businesses grow

Minority governments ‘à la mode’ in Europe but can they last long?

5G will change the world – but who will keep it safe?

How ‘savings circles’ empower women in rural Africa

Opening – February plenary session, 27 new seats

Can cybersecurity offer value for money?

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s