The global acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines increased from 75.2% in 2021 to 79.1% in 2022, according to a survey in 23 countries (including India) representing more than 60% of the world’s population.
The willingness of parents to vaccinate their children also rose slightly, from 67.6% in 2021 to 69.5% in 2022.
However, vaccine acceptance decreased in eight countries, and almost one in eight vaccinated respondents, particularly younger men and women, were hesitant about receiving a booster dose, according to the study published in Nature Medicine.
Worryingly, almost one in eight (12.1%) vaccinated respondents were hesitant about booster doses. This hesitancy was higher among the younger age groups (18-29).
Led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and The City University of New York’s Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, the study underlines a wide variability among countries and the need for tailored communication strategies in addressing vaccine hesitancy.
“The pandemic is not over, and authorities must urgently address vaccine hesitancy and resistance as part of their COVID-19 prevention and mitigation strategy,” says Jeffrey V. Lazarus, Head of the Health Systems Research Group at ISGlobal.
The 23 highly-populated countries that were hit hard by the pandemic were part of the study, including Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UK and the US.
The data reported here correspond to the third survey conducted between June and July 2022.
Of the 23,000 respondents, 79.1% were willing to accept vaccination. The finding represented an increase of 5.2% from June 2021.
However, eight countries observed increased hesitancy (from 1% in the UK to 21.1% in South Africa).
“We must remain vigilant in tracking these data, containing COVID-19 variants and addressing hesitancy, which may challenge future routine COVID-19 immunisation programmes,” said Ayman El-Mohandes, senior author.
The survey also provides new information on COVID-19 treatments received.
Globally, ivermectin was taken with the same frequency as other approved medications, even though the WHO and other agencies do not recommend its use to prevent or treat COVID-19.
Also, almost 4% of respondents reported paying less attention to new COVID-19 information than before and having less support for vaccine mandates.
“Our results show that public health strategies to enhance booster coverage will need to be more sophisticated and adaptable for each setting and target population,” says Lazarus.
There are several COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use around the world. These include vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Sinovac. These vaccines have undergone clinical trials to demonstrate their safety and efficacy, and have been authorized for use under emergency situations in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. Each vaccine may have its own specific authorization, usage guideline, storage requirement, and effectiveness.
Several COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for emergency use around the world. These include:
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
- Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
- AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine
- Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
- Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine
- Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine
- Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin
- Sinopharm COVID-19 Vaccine
It’s important to note that this list may not include all COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized or are in development, and the authorization and usage guidelines may vary by country.