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Source: World Economic Forum

Gayle Markovitz, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum, +41 79 749 9251, gma@weforum.org
Amanda Russo, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum, +41 79 392 6898, arus@weforum.org

  • A World Economic Forum/Ipsos global survey found the number of people willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine has dropped to 73%
  • These numbers are significant enough to compromise the effectiveness of a COVID-19 vaccine to manage the disease and end lockdown cycle, a health expert says
  • Vaccination intent declined in 10 of the 15 countries surveyed, most of all in China, Australia, Spain, and Brazil
  • Biggest vaccine confidence concerns are around side effects (cited by 34%) and clinical trials moving too fast (cited by another 33%).
  • Check out the survey

Geneva, Switzerland, 5 November 2020 – In a World Economic Forum/Ipsos survey of 18,526 adults from 15 countries, only 73% say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine if available – down 4 points since August.

This latest survey shows a growing reluctance to receive a vaccine, despite progress made by numerous pharmaceutical companies working on vaccine trials and international organizations like World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi and CEPI working to ensure any future solution is available for those most in need.

Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, at the World Economic Forum said, “This drop in vaccine confidence is a remarkable and sad trend as we edge closer to a possible vaccine roll-out. The numbers are significant enough to compromise the effectiveness of a COVID-19 vaccine to manage the disease and to see an end to the cycle of new lockdowns and restrictions. It is critical that governments and the private sector come together to build trust in the next steps. It’s important to know that when a vaccine is ready, it will make a difference.”

A World Economic Forum/Ipsos survey from 3 months ago revealed that across 15 countries, 77% of adults strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement “if a vaccine for COVID-19 were available, I would get it”. At the time, the shortfall in vaccine confidence was significant enough to be seen to compromise the effectiveness of seeing an end to the pandemic. Now, this figure has dropped.

Since August, vaccination intent has declined in 10 of the 15 countries, most of all China, Australia, Spain, and Brazil. More than four in five in India, China, South Korea, and Brazil say they would get a vaccine if available – compared to just over half in France and about two in three in the US, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Japan, and Germany.

Reasons for not taking a vaccine

In nearly equal proportions, those who do not intend to take a vaccine for COVID-19 say that they are worried about the side effects (34% globally) and that they are worried that a vaccine is moving through clinical trials too fast (33%).

Fewer say they don’t think the vaccine will be effective (10%), they are against vaccines in general (10%), and that the risk they’ll get COVID-19 is too low (8%).

Concern about side effects is highest in Japan (62%) and China (46%). Worry that the clinical trials are rushed is highest in Brazil and Spain (48% in both). General opposition to vaccines in general among those who won’t get one is highest in South Africa (21%) and India (19%).

Time to vaccination

The survey also questions how soon after a vaccine becomes available would people get one. Nearly half of adults globally say they would get vaccinated within three months after the COVID-19 vaccine is available to all. More than two thirds would do so in Mexico (71%), Brazil (68%), and China (68%), but fewer than four in 10 in France and Spain (38% both).

As many as 90% in China and 86% in South Korea say they would get vaccinated with the first year of the Covid-19 vaccine’s availability, compared to just 54% in France.

WHO named public hesitancy towards vaccination as one of the Top 10 Threats to Global Health in 2019, affecting not only public health, but businesses and economies.

“Public-private cooperation is critical to building trust in next steps,” Bernaert said. “While the numbers in this latest study show there is more confidence than not in a COVID-19 vaccine, the rising hesitancy is material and highlights that a vaccine won’t work if people don’t take it.”

About the survey

The survey was conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform, October 8-13, 2020, with a sample of 18,526 adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada, and South Africa, and 16-74 in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of don’t knows or not stated responses.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).