UK remains most vaccine friendly nation as 4 out of 5 willing to receive jab

Confidence growing around world though many remain sceptical

Liam James
Friday 05 March 2021 11:40
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UK Covid-19 vaccinations: Latest figures

The UK continues to be the most vaccine friendly nation as confidence grows around the world, according to a new report.

A series of surveys by Imperial College London, conducted across 14 countries, found almost six in 10 people (58 per cent) in the developed world would take a Covid-19 vaccine if offered.

People in the UK were the most willing with nearly four-fifths (77 per cent) of respondents saying they would take a jab by the end of February, when the latest survey was taken.

Willingess to get a jab was found to have risen in nine of the surveyed countries since researchers began collecting data in November, shortly before the first coronavirus vaccine was approved.

In the UK, just 55 per cent of people were willing at first but confidence has risen alongside a belief that the government will provide people with an effective vaccine.

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France was found to be the least enthusiastic with just 40 per cent of people saying they would take a a vaccine if offered, while 33 per cent said they were strongly against doing so.

Singapore and Japan followed with just under half (48 per cent) of respondents saying they were willing.

In those three most sceptical countries there has however been growing confidence, particularly in France where only 25 per cent of people were willing in November.

But confidence has recently dropped in some countries, sharply in Spain, but also in Australia, Canada and Denmark, though the latter remains second only to the UK.

The proportion of people worried about potential side effects of a vaccine has decreased or remained relatively constant across all surveyed countries, though remains high with nearly half (45 per cent) of respondents now reporting concern.

While the UK showed the lowest concern over potential side effects, around one-quarter (26 per cent) of people remain worried.

Responding to the results, Professor Ara Darzi, co-director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, said the rise in confidence was good news but warned "many countries still have much to do to address vaccine hesitancy", adding that it was "vital that leaders understand why their citizens have concerns and develop tailored strategies to address these”.

More than 13,500 people took part in the monthly surveys across Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

All of the countries surveyed are in the developed world and all bar Singapore are members of the OECD.

As results were published, Sarah P Jones, co-project lead and researcher from the Institute of Global Health Innovation, noted the importance of international cooperation in the global vaccination effort.

“While the availability of Covid-19 vaccines is increasing in many countries, this is a global pandemic and no country is isolated from the ongoing situation, so getting to a new normal will require a concerted effort to ensure that no nation is left behind," she said.

"Leaders must work together to ensure vaccine equity which will be a vital step in the path out of the pandemic.”

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