The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact daily life, including health system operations, despite the availability of vaccines that are effective in greatly reducing the risks of death and severe disease. Misperceptions of COVID-19 vaccine safety, efficacy, risks, and mistrust in institutions responsible for vaccination campaigns have been reported as factors contributing to vaccine hesitancy. This CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy study investigated COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy globally in June 2021. Nationally representative samples of 1,000 individuals from 23 countries were surveyed. Data were analyzed descriptively, and weighted multivariable logistic regressions were used to explore associations with vaccine hesitancy. Here, we show that more than three-fourths (75.2%) of the 23,000 respondents report vaccine acceptance, up from 71.5% one year earlier. Across all countries, vaccine hesitancy is associated with a lack of trust in COVID-19 vaccine safety and science, and skepticism about its efficacy. Vaccine hesitant respondents are also highly resistant to required proof of vaccination; 31.7%, 20%, 15%, and 14.8% approve requiring it for access to international travel, indoor activities, employment, and public schools, respectively. For ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaigns to succeed in improving coverage going forward, substantial challenges remain to be overcome. These include increasing vaccination among those reporting lower vaccine confidence in addition to expanding vaccine access in low- and middle-income countries.
Read the full journal article at Nature Communications.