Study finds growing acceptance of Covid vaccine worldwide

Uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine around the world increased by around 4% between 2020 and 2021, according to a new study whose findings could help improve coverage of future immunization campaigns.

The research, published last week in the journal nature communicationsstudied Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy globally in June 2021 in more than 23,000 people in 23 countries.

The researchers, including those from the City University of New York in the US, found that more than three-quarters of those surveyed reported acceptance of the vaccine, up from 71.5 percent a year earlier.

The study was carried out amid highly uneven global availability and uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine as scientists sought to understand the drivers of vaccine hesitancy and the characteristics of unvaccinated people.

In June 2021, the survey reported that vaccine hesitations occurred most frequently in Russia (48.4%), Nigeria (43%), and Poland (40.7%), and least frequently in China (2 .4%), the United Kingdom (18.8%). percent) and Canada (20.8 percent).

The researchers found that concerns about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, as well as mistrust of the science behind vaccine development, were the most consistent factors for indecision.

Personal experience with COVID-19, including illness and loss of a family member, as well as demographic characteristics such as education, income and gender, were other factors linked to vaccine hesitancy that varied by country, they say.

“In order to improve overall vaccination rates, some countries may currently require people to present proof of vaccination to attend work, school, or indoor activities and events,” said Jeffrey Lazarus, co-author of the study. CUNY.

“Our results found strong support among participants for requirements aimed at international travelers, while support was weaker among participants for requirements for schoolchildren,” said Dr. Lazarus.

Recommendations from a doctor “or, to a lesser extent, from an employer” can have an impact on people’s opinion about vaccination in some countries, according to the scientists.

For ongoing Covid-19 vaccination campaigns to succeed in improving coverage amid rising infection rates in some countries, substantial challenges remain, they say.

Targeting those who report lower confidence in vaccines with evidence-based information campaigns, as well as expanding access to vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, are some of the main obstacles, the researchers add.

Based on data presented from a European survey carried out by the Vaccine Confidence Project, the scientists affirm that the population group most exposed to social networks -mainly young people under 24 years of age with secondary or university studies and who live in urban areas- are more reluctant. to be vaccinated.

The scientists add that messages calling for vaccination as a “moral obligation” are strongly rejected, unlike those calling for “protection.”

Observing that one of the most popular ways to convey anti-vaccine messages has been humor, the researchers called for spreading the benefits of vaccines using this same tool, but without making fun of those who have wrong beliefs.

“We still need accurate communication about the Covid-19 vaccine provided by reliable sources to clearly explain the safety and benefits of the vaccine for individuals, families, and society at large,” the scientists wrote.

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