The UK population has the highest confidence in Covid-19 vaccines, while Japan and South Korea have the lowest, according to a report based on data from an international survey of 15 countries.
The survey, conducted between March and May, showed the most common reasons for vaccine hesitancy were concerns about side effects and fears over whether jabs have been through enough testing.
Respondents’ other frequent reasons included concerns about not getting the vaccine they would prefer, and worries over whether the vaccines are effective enough.
“This global survey reveals important insight into why people might not put themselves forward to take a Covid-19 vaccine if offered,” said Ara Darzi, a professor at the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London.
The YouGov survey recorded findings from more than 68,000 people showed that there is variation across the world but overall, confidence in vaccines is greater than 50 per cent. People in the UK were the most trusting with 87 per cent saying they trusted the vaccines, followed by Israel with 83 per cent.
South Korea and Japan scored just 47 per cent confidence.
“Our programme has been tracking people’s attitudes towards Covid-19 vaccines since November and it’s encouraging to see that trust has steadily been climbing,” said Sarah Jones, co-project lead from the Institute of Global Health Innovation.
Trust in different vaccine brands also varied, with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine being the most trusted across all age groups in nine of the 15 countries. Respondents were also invited to record their thoughts about the AstraZeneca/Oxford, Moderna, Sinopharm and Sputnik V jabs.
Americans showed the least trust in specific brands and had the highest proportion of people across all ages who said they didn’t trust any of them.
In the UK the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was the most trusted by people aged under 65 in March, although confidence has fallen over time across all age groups.
In most other countries trust in the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was low, as with the Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines.
The surveys were conducted in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US.