UK residents have the highest confidence in Covid-19 vaccines, while Japan and South Korea have the lowest, according to a report based on data from an international survey of 15 countries.
The survey, which was conducted between March and May, found that the most common reasons for hesitation about vaccines were concerns about side effects and concerns about testing vaccines appropriately.
Other common reasons for respondents were concerns about not getting their preferred vaccine and concerns about whether the vaccines were effective enough.
“This global survey shows insights into why people would not take a Covid-19 vaccine if it was offered,” said Ara Darzi, a professor at the Institute for Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London.
A YouGov survey of more than 68,000 people shows there are differences around the world, but public confidence in vaccines is more than 50 percent. People in the UK were the most confident, with 87 per cent saying they trusted vaccines, followed by Israel at 83 per cent.
South Korea and Japan scored only 47 percent of confidence.
“Our program has been tracking people’s attitudes toward Covid-19 vaccines since November, and it is encouraging to see this confidence grow steadily,” said Sarah Jones, co-leader of the project at the Institute for Global Health Innovation.
Confidence in different types of vaccines also varied, with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine being the most trusted in nine of 15 countries across all age groups. Respondents were also invited to record their thoughts on AstraZeneca/Oxford, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Sputnik V.
Americans showed the least confidence in some brands and had the highest percentage of people of all ages who said they did not trust any of them.
In the UK, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was most trusted by people under 65 in March, although confidence has declined over time in all age groups.
In most other countries, confidence in the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, as well as in the Sputnik-V and Sinopharm vaccine, was low.
The surveys were conducted in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.