The United States isn’t the only country in the world struggling with people who are reluctant to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
A new Ipsos survey conducted in partnership with the World Economic Forum found residents in seven other countries were more hesitant to get the vaccine than Americans.
The report surveyed 13,500 adults from Dec. 17 to Dec. 20 in 15 countries: Brazil, Mexico, the U.K., Australia, South Korea, Canada, the U.S., Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, South Africa, Russia, China and France.
China reported the most vaccine intent, with 80% of survey respondents agreeing they would get a vaccine if it were available. France ranked the lowest, with only 40% of French residents reporting they would get the vaccine.
France has been criticized for the slow pace of its vaccination program. As of Friday, only 80,000 French citizens had been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Neighboring Germany has conducted hundreds of thousands of inoculations.
The U.S. ranked somewhere in the middle, with 69% of Americans willing to take the vaccine. Accompanying China above the U.S. was Brazil (78%), Mexico (77%), the U.K. (77%), Australia (75%), South Korea (75%) and Canada (71%).
These countries ranked below the United States and above France: Germany (65%), Italy (62%), Spain (62%), Japan (60%), South Africa (53%) and Russia (43%).
In every country, between 57% and 80% of those who say they wouldn’t take a COVID-19 vaccine cite concerns about side effects.
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“It’s a new vaccine, it hasn’t existed before (and) it’s only been available for a few weeks,” said Chris Jackson, Ipsos Senior Vice President and Head of Polling. “There’s a lot of concern if it’s going to have some sort of problems.”
Doubts about the vaccines’ effectiveness is the second most common reason for not getting vaccinated in many countries, such as Russia, where as many as 45% of survey respondents express such doubts.
Some survey participants who wouldn’t get the vaccine didn’t think COVID-19 was a concern. Twenty-one percent of those who said they won’t get vaccinated in the U.S. said they were not at risk for the disease, which Jackson said could be attributed to the political climate.
“We see a significant number of people not going to take the COVID vaccine because they don’t think COVID is a big risk,” he said. “That says something more about the politics.”
Americans’ willingness to take the vaccine is overall increasing. Since October, the percentage of those who strongly or somewhat agree to get vaccinated has increased by five points. The proportion of those who strongly agree has increased by nine points.
However, Jackson is quick to point out this could change in the future.
“(When) you take a step back, the attitudes around the vaccine and COVID are still very volatile,” he said. “None of this is etched in stone.”
Contributing: Associated Press. Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.
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