Which countries are most and least open to embracing a safe and effective COVID vaccine?

Credit: Nicolás Ortega
Credit: Nicolás Ortega
[A] study, which polled the opinions of over 13,000 people from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas and was published [October 20] in the journal Nature Medicine, revealed that 14 per cent said they would refuse [a COVID vaccine], while another 14 per cent were undecided.

According to the researchers, this means vaccine coverage rates would fall short of the 80 per cent required to protect society against COVID-19.

According to the research, China had highest acceptance rate of almost 90 per cent, a result that may reflect the tendency of Asian nations to show strong trust in central governments, the authors say.

Middle-income countries, such as Brazil, South Africa, and South Korea also showed around or above 80 per cent acceptance rates.

However, despite the fact the pandemic reached its peak in Europe in June, the European countries polled all had acceptance rates below the 80 per cent threshold.

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The study found that those who had higher levels of confidence in information from government sources were more likely to accept a vaccine.

“We need to build trust in the governments, but in turn, governments should make efforts to provide a transparent policy, based on solid data, and clear and precise communication,” says [lead author Jeffrey] Lazarus.

graph d
Percentage of respondents who said they would take a COVID-19 vaccine if it was proven safe and effective, by country polled. Credit: Nature

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