Global vaccine confidence is rising, according to a survey released Wednesday showing that 54% of respondents across 15 countries would get a Covid-19 vaccine if one was offered to them.
The survey done by the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College in London showed that willingness to get vaccinated has increased in 11 of the 15 countries since November, when 41% of respondents said they would get vaccinated.
“It is very encouraging to see that, as a number of safe and effective coronavirus vaccines are being rolled out across the world, there has been an apparent positive shift in people’s perceptions of these products,” Dr. David Nabarro, co-director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College in London, said in a statement.
About 13,500 people were surveyed each of four times between November and mid-January. Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom were included in the analysis.
The US was not included in the Imperial College survey, but a CNN poll, also conducted in mid-January, found that 66% of Americans say they would get a Covid-19 vaccine, up from 51% in October.
The UK had the highest share of respondents who strongly agreed they would get a vaccine, 70%. On the other end of the spectrum was France, with 30% – although that number has doubled since November, when just 15% of people surveyed in France strongly agreed.
France also had the highest percentage of people who strongly agreed that they are worried about vaccine side effects, at 40%. However, concern over potential vaccine side effects has decreased since November in most countries surveyed, with 47% of all those surveyed saying they are worried about side effects.
About 66% of respondents said they trust the vaccine, with more than half the population reporting trust in vaccines in all countries except Japan.
Over half of those surveyed, 58%, believe government health authorities will deliver an effective Covid-19 vaccine – with the share of respondents who strongly agree increasing in 11 countries since November.
Concern over becoming infected with coronavirus has remained relatively stable since November, with the highest levels of concern in Japan, Spain and South Korea and the lowest in Australia.
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The results suggest that access to Covid-19 vaccines is a challenge. About 54% of people taking part in the survey said it would be difficult to get a vaccine. People in South Korea and Japan reported the greatest difficulties in access, while those in Norway and Denmark reported the least.
“As vaccines will play a vital role in controlling the pandemic, leaders must act now to help more people understand the benefits of being vaccinated against COVID-19 and make sure that no one is left behind,” said Nabarro.