On Dec 30, a systematic review was published on vaccine hesitancy. The scientists basically pooled ALL articles on the topic of “COVID19 and vaccines acceptance” and summarized general trends or themes. For this study, the scientists pooled a total of 126 studies on this topic.
What did they find?
- In the US, vaccine acceptance is declining (72% in April to 48% in Oct)
- Countries with the highest rates of vaccine acceptance were China (91.3%), Brazil (85.36%), South Africa (81.58%), Denmark (80%), S Korea (79.8%) and the UK (79%)
- Outside of the US, Russia had the lowest vaccine acceptance (54.9%), followed by France (58.9%)
- People with lower income, no insurance, living in rural areas or larger households are less likely to get vaccinated
- Most common reasons for hesitation: fear of side effects, safety, and effectiveness.
- Lower acceptance of vaccines were due to: Belief that vaccines are unnecessary, inadequate information, unknown/short duration of immunity, and a general anti-vaccine stand
- Confidence was boosted from doctor recommendations or positive opinions from family and friends
This data has been backed by anecdotal reports of only ~50% of healthcare workers wanting their vaccine. In fact, many hospitals ordered too many vaccines. We need at least 65% of people vaccinated to reach herd immunity.
My scientific opinion: Vaccine hesitancy isn’t as sexy as a mutation, but I would (and am) much more worried about this than the SA or UK variant. And you should be too. Vaccine hesitancy is an imminent threat to this pandemic.
If you’re vaccine hesitant and there’s a topic that I haven’t already covered which would help you make a data-informed decision, please comment below. I’ll try and do my best to post about it in the coming weeks. These are the topics I’ve covered thus far: side effects, adverse events, efficacy, types of vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson&Johnson, AstraZeneca, Novavax, Sputnik), fertility, antibody response, long term effects, and me getting the vaccine. (If you missed any of these, search my blog for a key word or press on the category “vaccines”).
If you’re vaccine confident and happen to come across someone who’s hesitant or resistant, here are some tips on what to say (and not to say). Yes, this includes social media. First and foremost, be kind. See Figure. We are all needed in this vaccine campaign.
Systematic Review: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-393X/9/1/16
Language that works link: https://debeaumont.org/covid-vaccine-poll/?fbclid=IwAR1HZnfxVmFaJ5Ji_jSzmdoSKbrtErJacwaqaiWhlX9rGY9VVK17OxC4xZA