The United States is not the only country in the world struggling with people who are reluctant to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
A new Ipsos study conducted in partnership with the World Economic Forum showed that residents of seven other countries were more reluctant to get the vaccine than Americans.
The report examined 13,500 adults from December 17 to December 20 in 15 countries: Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Korea, Canada, the United States, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, South Africa, Russia, China, and France.
China reported the most vaccine intent, with 80% of respondents agreeing that they would get a vaccine if it was available. France ranked as the lowest, with only 40% of French residents reporting that they would receive the vaccine.
France has been criticized for the slow pace of the vaccination program. As of Friday, only 80,000 French citizens had been vaccinated against coronavirus. Neighboring Germany has carried out hundreds of thousands of vaccinations.
The United States ranked somewhere in the middle, with 69% of Americans willing to take the vaccine. China was accompanied by Brazil (78%), Mexico (77%), the United Kingdom (77%), Australia (75%), South Korea (75%) and Canada (71%).
These countries ranked below the United States and above France: Germany (65%), Italy (62%), Spain (62%), Japan (60%), South Africa (53%) and Russia (43%).
In each country, between 57% and 80% of those who say they would not take a COVID-19 vaccine mention side effects.
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“It’s a new vaccine, it has not existed before (and) it has only been available for a few weeks,” said Chris Jackson, Ipsos Senior Vice President and Head of Polling. “There’s a lot of concern if it’s going to have some kind of problem.”
Doubts about the effectiveness of vaccines are the second most common reason for not being vaccinated in many countries, such as Russia, where as many as 45% of respondents in the survey express such doubts.
Some study participants who would not receive the vaccine did not think COVID-19 was a concern. 21 percent of those who said they would not be vaccinated in the United States said they were not at risk for the disease, which Jackson said could be attributed to the political climate.
“We see a significant number of people not wanting to take the COVID vaccine because they do not think COVID is a major risk,” he said. “It says something more about politics.”
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The willingness of Americans to take the vaccine is generally increasing. Since October, the percentage of those who strongly or somewhat agree to be vaccinated has increased by five points. The proportion of those who completely agree has increased by nine points.
However, Jackson is quick to point out that this may change in the future.
“(When) you take a step back, attitudes around the vaccine and COVID are still very volatile,” he said. “None of this is etched in stone.”
Contribution: Associated Press. Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.
Coverage of health and patient safety in the United States DAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation, and Competition in Healthcare. Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.
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