Even if a vaccine does become available, people must be willing to get the shot for the pandemic to end, scientists say.
- Market research firm Ipsos surveyed thousands of people across the world to learn about global attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccines.
- Stark differences exist country by country.
- Just 54% percent of Russians say they’ll get a vaccine when one becomes available, whereas 97% of Chinese respondents said they’d get one.
- Compared to the rest of the world, Americans surveyed said they are less optimistic about a vaccine coming out in 2020 and are less likely to get vaccinated.
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A new poll by market research firm Ipsos surveyed people across the world on their attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccines, and the results reveal stark national differences when it comes to hopes that a vaccine will be available soon and willingness to get vaccinated.
As the coronavirus pandemic roils the globe, many see a vaccine as the world’s chance to return to something more closely resembling normal. Currently, World Health Organization is tracking over 170 vaccine candidates, with 9 candidates currently in Phase 3 of clinical trials. Normally, vaccines take years to develop, but scientists are hoping to cut that time down to 12 to 18 months.
But if a vaccine does arrive, it’s only effective if people agree to get the shot, and the Ipsos study shows that nation by nation, people vary wildly on their attitudes toward vaccines.
Check out the 3 charts below to see how the world stacks up.
The US isn’t the only country with an anti-vaxxer contingent. Germany, Italy, and Sweden are tied with the US, with 33% of respondents saying they won’t get a vaccine if it becomes available.
Meanwhile, China stands out as the most pro-vaccine country surveyed, with 97% saying they will get a vaccine when one becomes available. Russia lies at the other end of the spectrum, with nearly half of all Russians saying they don’t plan on getting vaccinated.
Overall, 74% of people worldwide say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Across the world, people who said they wouldn’t get a vaccine said they were most concerned with possible side effects.
The second-most common reason: the belief that the vaccine won’t be effective. A lack of confidence in vaccines’ effectiveness could have dire consequences for fighting the pandemic.
“The 26% shortfall in vaccine confidence is significant enough to compromise the effectiveness of rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Arnaud Bernaert of the World Economic Forum, according to a press release. “It is therefore critical that governments and the private sector come together to build confidence and ensure that manufacturing capacity meets the global supply of a COVID-19 vaccination programme. This will require cooperation between researchers and manufacturers and public funding arrangements that remove restrictions to vaccine access.”
Most of the world is fairly pessimistic about the prospect of a vaccine being available in the next four months. Globally, 59% of people said that they didn’t think a vaccine would be ready by the end of 2020.
The big exception: China, where 87% of people said that they did believe a vaccine would be available to them by the end of 2020. Similarly optimistic countries include Saudi Arabia (75%) and India (74%).
Meanwhile, in the US, about a third believe that a vaccine will be available by year’s end. On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced that the US would not collaborate internationally to produce a COVID-19 vaccine. White House spokesman Judd Deere said, “We will not be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China.”
Especially pessimistic countries include Germany (24% believe it will be available by the end of 2020), Japan (22%), and Poland (22%).