Global vaccination programs have been progressing – but there's still more to do
Vaccine hesitancy, or a ‘wait and see’ approach to vaccination, has dropped significantly over the past three months, according to a recent global study. Back in March, about 50% of respondents said they were waiting to get a vaccine. The figure dropped almost 10% by May, which suggested a growing confidence in vaccines. There is also a growing willingness to get the COVID-19 shots and a positive shift in vaccination rates across the board.
The study showed that national vaccination programs continue to show progress, including in Singapore, which saw a dramatic jump from 29% uptake to 42% in just one month. Countries that have been experiencing the highest rates of progress were the UK, US and United Arab Emirates. Findings showed that the most trusted source of vaccine information and a strong driver of uptake remain government bodies and medical officials or doctors.
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Unvaccinated versus vaccinated individuals
What’s holding individuals back, based on Cigna’s study, remains doubts over vaccine safety. They found that both vaccinated (54%) and unvaccinated (57%) individuals have similar levels of anxiety about getting COVID-19, as well as passing it on to others (73% versus 75%). Both groups also share similar concerns over risks like side effects and safety. Regardless, there have been other issues slowing down the global vaccine rate, such as a lack of access in specific countries.
However, compared with their vaccinated peers, those still hesitating about the shots are choosing to rely on news from the TV, friends and family, as well as social media to get their information. This compared to vaccinated folk, who were more likely to trust official information from leaders, doctors and private healthcare insurance providers.
“The study underlines the importance of continued support and encouragement for vaccination programs to help build confidence in those yet to receive vaccinations and to ultimately achieve herd immunity,” said Jason Sadler, president at Cigna International Markets. “We encourage people to seek trustworthy sources of information about vaccines, such as updates from your local health authority, and to request a vaccination.”