Researchers in the UK, Spain and the United States found obvious signs of vaccine reluctance related to a potential COVID-19 vaccine, although some countries had high levels of acceptance compared to others. Respondents said that trust in the government would make a vaccine less acceptable.

Worldwide adoption of COVID-19 vaccines

Hundreds of experimental COVID-19 vaccines are in various phases of testing worldwide. But only a handful of them successfully reached phase 3 clinical trials. If they pass this final phase of studies, the vaccines must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration before they can be used in the United States

Even if the FDA approves a vaccine, the growing reluctance of the vaccine to get it into the community can cause problems. So the researchers conducted a survey to determine how often vaccines hesitate.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines vaccine hesitation as a delay in accepting or rejecting available vaccines. Some of the key factors that lead to a hesitant vaccine are complacency, convenience, and confidence. Vaccine hesitation is different from the anti-vaccine (or anti-vax). Those who hesitate to vaccinate are not necessarily against vaccines – they are literally reluctant to do so. Anti-Vaxxers, on the other hand, reject vaccines. Reluctant individuals can change their minds when they gain a higher level of confidence and understanding about vaccines.

The study

A total of over 13,000 people from 19 countries took part in the study, published in Nature Medicine. Researchers asked respondents to answer 22 items, including questions about vaccine intake, trust in pandemic information sources, and standard demographic questions.

The results showed that China had the highest acceptance rate at 88.6% and Poland had the lowest negative responses at 0.7%. Poland had the highest negative responses at 27.3% and Russia had the lowest acceptance rate at 54.9%. Other important results are:

  • 46.8% of respondents would totally agree if a vaccine was widely available.
  • 8.1% would disagree at all if a vaccine was widely available.
  • 14.2% did not express an opinion when a vaccine is generally available.
  • 31.9% would fully agree to a vaccination on the recommendation of the employer.
  • 9.8% would not agree to vaccination if recommended by employers.
  • 20.6% did not express an opinion about the vaccination when recommended by employers.
  • People aged 25 to 52, 55 to 64, and 65 and over were more likely to accept vaccinations than people aged 18 to 24.
  • Men reacted slightly less frequently to vaccinations than women.

Vaccine Hesitation vs. Vaccination protection

A study in the journal Pediatrics and Child Health discussed the differences between vaccine reluctant people and anti-Vaxxers. The author described vaccine hesitation as a widely used term that involved actively rejecting vaccines. The word hesitation could represent a psychological state of insecurity, not real behavior. But the uncertainty could cement thoughts against vaccination based on propaganda and messages.

People who are reluctant to get themselves or children vaccinated may have trust issues, especially with vaccine manufacturers. This uncertainty can put vulnerable groups at risk of developing diseases such as measles and polio. Education and information programs can dispel doubts about vaccines. Experts are therefore urgently calling for measures to increase public confidence in vaccination programs.

“If we don’t start building vaccine literacy and restoring public confidence in science today, we cannot hope to contain this pandemic,” said study co-author Dr. Heidi Larson, in a press release.

Boost public trust

Researchers in the UK, Spain and the US have found obvious signs of “vaccine hesitation” in 19 countries that could hamper a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Some countries have higher adoption rates than others, and respondents said that trust in the government would make a vaccine less acceptable.

Worldwide adoption of COVID-19 vaccines

Hundreds of experimental COVID-19 vaccines are in various phases of testing worldwide. But only a handful have successfully completed phase 3 clinical trials. If they pass this final phase of studies, the vaccines must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they can be used in the United States

Even if the FDA approves a vaccine, the growing reluctance of the vaccine to get it into the community can cause problems.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines vaccine hesitation as a delay in accepting or rejecting available vaccines. Key factors in delaying the vaccine include complacency, comfort, and confidence. Vaccine hesitation is different from the anti-vaccine (or anti-vax). Those who hesitate to vaccinate are not necessarily against vaccines – they are literally reluctant to do so. Anti-Vaxxers, on the other hand, reject the vaccination. Reluctant people can change their minds when they gain more confidence and understanding about vaccines.

The study

A joint research team from the UK, Spain and the US surveyed over 13,000 people from 19 countries to determine how often vaccines hesitate around the world. The study was published in Nature Medicine in October.

The researchers asked participants to answer 22 items, including questions about vaccine intake, trust in pandemic information sources, and standard demographic questions.

The results showed that China had the highest acceptance rate at 88.6% and the lowest percentage of negative responses at 0.7%. Poland had the highest negative responses at 27.3% and Russia had the lowest acceptance rate at 54.9%. Other important results are:

  • 46.8% of respondents would totally agree if a vaccine was widely available.
  • 8.1% would disagree at all if a vaccine was widely available.
  • 14.2% did not express an opinion when a vaccine is generally available.
  • 31.9% would fully agree to a vaccination on the recommendation of the employer.
  • 9.8% would not agree to vaccination if recommended by employers.
  • 20.6% did not express an opinion about the vaccination when recommended by employers.
  • People aged 25 to 52, 55 to 64, and 65 and over were more likely to accept vaccinations than people aged 18 to 24.
  • Men reacted slightly less frequently to vaccinations than women.

Vaccine Hesitation vs. Vaccination protection

A study in the journal Pediatrics and Child Health discussed the differences between vaccine-reluctant individuals and anti-Vaxxers. The author, David Isaacs, MD, described vaccine hesitation as a widely used term that implies active rejection of vaccines. The word hesitation could represent a psychological state of insecurity, not real behavior. But the uncertainty could cement thoughts against vaccination based on propaganda and messages. Dr. Isaacs is Clinical Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Sydney.

People who are reluctant to get themselves or children vaccinated may have trust issues, especially with vaccine manufacturers. This uncertainty can put vulnerable groups at risk of developing diseases such as measles and polio. Education and information programs can dispel doubts, so experts urge action to increase public confidence in vaccination programs.

“If we don’t start building vaccine expertise and restore public confidence in science today, we cannot hope to contain this pandemic,” said Dr. Heidi Larson, co-author of the natural medicine study, in a press release. Dr. Larson leads the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Boost public trust

Scientists have joined a new initiative called Team Halo and will appear in videos on social media to increase public confidence in their work, including vaccine development. Doctors and researchers in different countries plan to use the hashtag #TeamHalo to report on vaccines to showcase global scientific efforts on various social media platforms.

A study in the Royal Society Open Science showed that a third of people in certain countries believed misinformation such as “gargling salt water or lemon juice will reduce the risk of getting infected by coronavirus” and were less willing to get vaccinated. Another study from Cornell University suggested that “wonder drugs” play a role in coronavirus misinformation. Experts hope educational work can reduce the impact of COVID-related misinformation found online.

Scientists have joined a new initiative and will appear in videos on social media to increase public confidence in their work, including vaccine development. Doctors and researchers in different countries plan to use the hashtag #TeamHalo to report on vaccines to showcase global scientific efforts on various social media platforms.

A study in the Royal Society Open Science showed that a third of people in certain countries believed the misinformation and were less willing to get vaccinated. Another study from Cornell University suggested that “magic bullets” play a role in the coronavirus misinformation. Experts hope educational work can reduce the impact of COVID-related misinformation found online.

Ralph Chen is an enthusiast for medical topics and advanced technology. When he’s not writing, he spends a lot of time playing popular PC games.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here