The acceptance of vaccination against covid has increased globally by four points and reaches 79.1%. However, sex, age, economic factors and education influence vaccine reluctance, according to a study led by ISGlobal
Acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine has increased globally, from 75.2% in 2021 79.1% in 2022; this is clear from a study carried out in 23 countries by Global Health Institute of Barcelona (ISGlobal) and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH)published in the magazine Nature Medicine.
Despite the aforementioned, the acceptance of the vaccine has decreased a eight countries (from 1% in the UK to 21.1% in South Africa) and almost one in eight people vaccinated women who participated in the survey, were reluctant to receive a booster dose.
The study underlines the great variability that exists between countries and emphasizes the need to adopt communication strategies to address vaccination reluctance.
“The pandemic is not over and the authorities must urgently address indecision and vaccine resistance as part of their strategy to prevent and mitigate COVID-19,” he explains Jeffrey V Lazarus, head of the Health Systems Research Group at ISGlobal, a center promoted by the “la Caixa” Foundation.
For data on trends in vaccine reluctance and what factors influence it, Lazarus and Ayman EL-Mohandes, dean of CNUY SPHthey carried out a series of surveys from 2020 a twenty three countries (Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, Spain, South Korea and Turkey ) highly populated and affected by the pandemic.
The latest data, taken from the third survey carried out between June and July 2022, reflect that of the 23,000 people who underwent the survey (1000 for each country surveyed), the 79.1% was willing to accept the vaccination. Which represents an increase in 5.2% with respect to the previous year.
In this same line, the willingness of parents to vaccinate their sons and daughters has also increased slightly, with one 69.5%.
However, in the younger age groups, between 18 and 29, the indecision about taking a booster dose is greater.
“As a group in general there is more reluctance, since it is the population that has suffered the least severe symptoms and mortality”, points out Jeffrey V Lazarus.
What factors influence vaccine reluctance?
According to the research, vaccine reluctance is associated in some countries with variables such as being female, not having a university degree or having a lower income.
The profile of people who pay less attention to the pandemic also varies by country.
Specifically, almost the 40% of respondents reported paying less attention than before to new information about COVID-19 and less support for vaccination mandates.
Regarding how the economic and educational level influences reluctance, Lazarus clarifies that “people with lower incomes are more vulnerable to false information. In addition, they have more difficulties when it comes to organizing themselves to get vaccinated, since they have fewer resources.”
What is the forecast for this 2023?
The researcher points out that after three years of the pandemic, we should not count on the current global situation, since there are still many affected, as is happening in China, so we should not let our guard down.
It also points to the need for governments, healthcare professionals, and researchers to address COVID-9 vaccine hesitancy more effectively and on a case-by-case basis.
“We need a strategy that includes governments and is focused on the vaccine as a central control measure,” concludes the expert.