Scientists around the world are racing to produce an effective vaccine and governments are throwing billions at drug companies to be first in line for access. But despite the severe disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a significant minority of people say they don’t want a jab even when one becomes available.
That’s the message from the polling of nearly 20,000 adults in 27 countries. It found that 74 percent would take a vaccine if it becomes available, but 59 percent do not expect that to be an option before the end of the year.
There is huge variation between countries, however, according to the Ipsos poll for the World Economic Forum. In China, 97 percent said they would get a future vaccine, while in Russia nearly half said they would not (Russia is the first country to make a vaccine available, although there has been widespread criticism it has not been adequately tested).
In Europe, skepticism of a coronavirus vaccine is most prevalent in Poland and Hungary with 45 and 44 percent respectively saying that they would not get a vaccine. U.K. respondents were most enthusiastic, with 85 percent saying they would take it.
Among those who did not want to take a vaccine, 56 percent said they were worried about side effects and 29 percent doubted its effectiveness.