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73% of adults across the globe willing to get Covid-19 vaccine if available

General opposition to vaccines was highest in South Africa (21 per cent) and India (19 per cent) – according to the survey report.

Concern about possible side-effects is one of the main reasons why many people are hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine, reveals a survey.

Some of the potential vaccines for Covid-19 are in the final stages of clinical trials and the results are expected in late 2020 or early 2021. But the question is - Will you get a Covid-19 vaccine if available?

If you're hesitant to get a COVID-19 vaccine, you're not alone. The results of a World Economic Forum/Ipsos global survey conducted in October revealed that vaccine hesitancy is increasing among adults across the globe.

In the survey that included 18,526 adults from 15 countries, 73 per cent of respondents said that they were willing to get a Covid-19 vaccine if available. While it is still a good number, it has dropped 4 per cent as compared to a similar survey conducted by WEF and Ipsos three months ago. In the previous survey, 77 per cent of the respondents had shown their willingness to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

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Vaccine hesitancy increased in 10 of the 15 countries surveyed, mostly in China, Australia, Spain, and Brazil, according to the survey report.

Reasons for vaccine hesitancy

Concern about possible side-effects is one of the main reasons for vaccine hesitancy, while many people are also worried about clinical trials moving too fast.

In the WEF/Ipsos global survey, 34 per cent of the respondents expressed concerns about side effects while 33 per cent of the participants said they were worried about clinical trials moving too fast.

Also, 10 per cent of people said that the vaccine is unlikely to be effective. Some participants (10 per cent) were against vaccines in general.

Concern about side effects was highest in Japan (62 per cent) and China (46 per cent). Concerns about rushing clinical trials were highest in Brazil and Spain (48 per cent in both). General opposition to vaccines was highest in South Africa (21 per cent) and India (19 per cent) according to the report.

This drop in vaccine confidence is a sad trend and it can compromise the effectiveness of mass vaccination to manage the disease, noted Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, at the World Economic Forum.

Therefore, it is important that governments and the private sector work together to build trust, he said.

When a vaccine will be available for general use

Russia has already registered two potential vaccines against COVID-19 before getting the results of Phase III trials. One is Sputnik V developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Russia and the other is EpiVacCorona developed by the Vector State Virology and Biotechnology Center in Siberia.

Three Chinese vaccines are in the last stages of testing including Sinovac that is expecting interim data as soon as November from its Phase 3 trial in Brazil.

Three western pharmaceutical firms including AstraZeneca Plc. and Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc are likely to have early data on their vaccine candidates before the end of the year.

Indian firm Bharat Biotech, which is developing indigenous vaccine 'COVAXIN' with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), is also expected to be launched by the beginning of next year.

With inputs from agencies

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