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Fears of side-effects fuel reluctance to get Covid jabs, survey finds

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Most people who are reluctant to be vaccinated against Covid are worried about side-effects and whether the vaccines have been adequately tested, a survey in 15 countries has shown.

Other reasons cited in the survey of 68,000 people, led by Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation in collaboration with YouGov, were the uncertainty that people would not get the vaccine they preferred and worries about efficacy.

The survey was carried out in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Excluding eligibility, the top reasons for not having the vaccine across all 15 countries surveyed were “concerns about side effects” and/or “concerns that there has not been enough testing of vaccines”.

Trust in vaccines was highest in the UK, at 87%, and lowest in Japan, at 47%. The UK respondents also had the highest level of confidence in their health authorities (70%), while South Korea had the lowest (42%).

Among those who had not yet been vaccinated, confidence was highest in the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in nine out of the 15 countries, and in three others – Canada, Singapore and Sweden – among those under 65.

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Source: The Guardian, 4 June 2021

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