Study: Coronavirus Vaccines Stir Doubts Among People Worldwide

The investigators found that 72% of participants would likely take the vaccine based on data collected from the previously validated COVID-SCORE survey of a sample of more than 13,400 individuals from 19 countries that were hard-hit by the virus.

New research has revealed potential global hesitancy to accept a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine. The study was conducted by research teams from the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Georgetown University Law School.

The investigators found that 72% of participants would likely take the vaccine based on data collected from the previously validated COVID-SCORE survey of a sample of more than 13,400 individuals from 19 countries that were hard-hit by the virus. Of the remaining 28%, 14% would refuse, whereas 14% would hesitate, translating into millions of potential vaccine avoiders, according to the study authors.

The country with the highest score of positive responses to “taking a proven, safe and effective vaccine” was China (87%), which also had the lowest percentage of negative responses (0.7%). Poland had the highest number of negative responses (27%), whereas the Russian respondents gave the lowest number of positive responses (55%). In the United States, 76% of respondents answered positively, with 11% being negative and 13% having no opinion.

When participants were asked if “you would accept a vaccine if it were recommended by your employer and was approved safe and effective by the government,” 32% of respondents completely agreed, whereas 18% somewhat or completely disagreed. Further, China had the highest percentage of positive responses (84%) and the lowest percentage of negative responses (4%).

Russia had the highest percentage of negative responses (41%) and the lowest percentage of respondents (27%) who were likely to accept their employer’s recommendation. In the United States, 52% had confidence in an employer’s recommendation and 25% did not, according to the study authors.

In addition, vaccine acceptance also varied with age, income, and education level. There was a higher acceptance among older people with to those under 22 years of age and a higher acceptance among people earning more than $32 per day compared with those earning under $2 per day. People who had fallen sick with COVID-19, or whose relatives had fallen sick, were not more likely to respond positively.

“It will be tragic if we develop safe and effective vaccines and people refuse to take them. We need to develop a robust and sustained effort to address vaccine hesitancy and rebuild public confidence in the personal, family and community benefits of immunizations,” said study co-author Scott C. Ratzan, distinguished lecturer at CUNY SPH, in a press release. “Our findings are consistent with recent surveys in the US, which show diminished public trust in a COVID-19 vaccine.”

The study authors noted that the participants’ decisions about vaccination depend on many factors and can change with time.

REFERENCE

Coronavirus vaccines stir doubts among many people worldwide, new study shows. CUNY SPH. https://sph.cuny.edu/2020/10/20/c19-vaccines-stir-doubts/. Published October 20, 2020. Accessed October 22, 2020.