GENEVA

The number of people in the US and UK willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is rising, but it is declining in some countries such as Japan, South Africa, and South Korea, a new survey revealed Tuesday.

The Geneva-based World Economic Forum and Ipsos, the world’s third-largest market research company, conducted the survey — titled Global Attitudes on a COVID-19 Vaccine — in the days following the administration of the first vaccinations in the UK and US earlier in December.

Some 13,500 adults in 15 countries were asked if they would take the vaccine and, if not, why.

In every country, between 57% and 80% of those who said they would not take a COVID-19 vaccine mentioned having anxieties about the side effects.

The general acceptance of taking vaccines is generally seen as higher in countries in the West and lower in East Asian nations such as China, Japan, and South Korea.

“As vaccinations rollout, it is encouraging to see confidence improve most in countries where vaccines are already made available,” said Arnaud Bernaert, the head of healthcare at the WEF.

“It is critical that governments and the private sector come together to build confidence and ensure that manufacturing capacity meets the global demand. COVID-19 is a global health crisis, and global solutions are needed,” he added.

Since October, the proportion of those who “strongly agree” with the question “If a vaccine for COVID-19 were available, I would get it,” is up significantly in the US by 9 points to 38%.

In the UK, those who “strongly agree” is up 5 points to 46%.

Since August, WEF said it also the first time when any country showed an uptick of five points or more in overall vaccination intent.

In eight of the 15 countries surveyed — China, Brazil, UK, Mexico, Australia, South Korea, Canada, and the US — more than two-thirds agreed they would get a vaccine if available.

That compared to only around 4 in 10 in France and Russia. The intent has dropped by 5 points or more in 6 countries — most of all in South Africa, France, Japan, and South Korea.

Opposition to vaccines, in general, is cited by about 1 in 4 of those who won’t get a COVID-19 vaccine in Russia and South Africa, but by fewer than 10% in South Korea, Japan, and China.

December marks the first time since August when overall vaccination intent is below 50% in any country — as is the case in France and Russia — and “strong intent” is below 15% in any country (Japan, France, and Russia).

Doubts about a vaccine’s effectiveness are the second-most common reason not to want to take the vaccine in many countries, cited by as many as 45% in Russia but only 17% in Japan.

Not being enough at risk from COVID-19 is mentioned by 32% in China and 25% in the UK, but only 8% in South Korea.

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