Coronavirus (1235) COVID-19 & Vaccine hesitancy

19 April, 2021

For over one year, the news is dominated by various issues around Covid-19. One of the main topics is vaccinations. How long will the process take? How will it roll out? What are the side effects?

In our MEDBOX Issue brief no.12 , we will look at the aspect of vaccination hesitancy. Several studies have been done about interest in getting the vaccine. Ipsos and World Economic Forum have looked at the willingness of the population in 16 countries from all over the world and also at the changes overtime in their 'Global attitudes : COVID-19 vaccines' study.

There is a significant difference in the willingness to be vaccinated between respondents in different countries. The study was done in January of 2021. Over 80% of the surveyed population in the United Kingdom (89%), Brazil (88%), China (85), Mexico (85%) were willing to be vaccinated. The lowest level of willingness was seen in Russia (42%) and France (57%). Compared with an earlier study in December 2020, the researcher found an increasing number of people interested in getting a vaccination in all 16 countries. In Spain and Italy, the percentage went from 52% in December 2020 to 80% in January 2021.

"I am worried about the side effects" is the main overall reason for not willing to be vaccinated

"I am worried that a vaccine is moving through clinical trials too fast" is the second reason that people would not take a COVID-19 vaccine. This reason was the main reason in Brazil (51%). Sixty-six % of the interviewed people in Japan were afraid of the side effects, while 14% thought that it went too fast through clinical trials

"I do not think that it will be effective" is given as the reason 45% of the people in China and South Korea and was highest in the United Kingdom with 12%

"The risk to me of getting COVID-19 is low" has been named as another reason. "I am against vaccination in general" was highest in the United States (11%) and lowest in Spain (2%)

The Centre for Disease Control Africa published a similar study on the situation in Africa in March 2021. In all the surveyed countries, respondents considered the COVID-19 vaccines as less safe than other vaccines. The highest proportion of people willing to take a COVID-19 vaccine was in Ethiopia (94%). The lowest response was in DRC, with just 59% of the respondents were ready to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

In this MEDBOX Issue brief, we will highlight some of the publications that can be found in the MEDBOX COVID-19 Toolbox in the sections Vaccination & Strategy, including Vaccine Hesitancy & Myths, Communication Materials and Videos. The MEDBOX Team has already published a small series of issue briefs on different aspects on COVID-19 & Vaccination: Issue Brief No.8 COVID-19 & Vaccination, No.9: Fair global distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines and No.11: COVID-19 Vaccination & Communication. Please take a look at all available Issue Briefs*5EB11C105ACCC/x-mebox-issue-brief-an...

Best regards

Sieglinde Mauder

Project Lead

MEDBOX- The Aid Library

HIFA profile: Sieglinde Mauder is Librarian at the Medical Mission Institute, Würzburg, Germany. She collects and distributes resources on HIV/AIDS, tropical diseases, humanitarian aid, health service management, e-learning for partners in developing countries. sieglinde.mauder AT