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To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? That is the question.
To achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, some experts believe that between 70% to 80% of a population must be vaccinated.
But attitudes toward these vaccines are undoubtedly mixed. In fact, an estimated one-third of people worldwide have significant concerns.
Using survey data from eight different countries, Global Web Index created five archetypes to help illustrate how typical attitudes toward vaccines differ based on a variety of factors, including age, income, lifestyle, and values.
|Segment||Breakdown||Age bias||Gender bias||Entry||Vaccine concerns|
|Vaccine Supporter||66%||18-34||None||High income||Possible side effects, availability and logistics of vaccine distribution.|
|Vaccinating vaccines||12%||38-56||Woman||Low / middle income||Potential side effects are required specifically due to the absence of long-term testing, the cost of the vaccine, and greater transparency around the science.|
|Obligatory vaccine||eleven%||16-24||Male||Low income||Potential side effects, I’m not sure the COVID-19 vaccine is necessary to fight the virus.|
|Skeptic of the vaccine||eleven%||45-64||Woman||Low income||Potential side effects, don’t think vaccines can reduce the pandemic.|
|Anti-vaxxer||1.4% (13% of the vaccine skeptical segment)||16-24, 55-64||Male||Low income||Potential side effects, don’t think vaccines in general are safe.|
Countries surveyed: United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Brazil, China, India, Japan and Italy.
Which segment are you most likely to be in, based on these segments?
[People who say they will get the COVID-19 vaccine.]
Of all respondents, 66% of them support the idea of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Within this group, there is a bias towards younger people (18 to 34 years old) who are likely to be working professionals with high incomes and who live in a city.
However, despite your optimism toward COVID-19 vaccines, one third of vaccine supporters say they will wait to get one, due to persistent concerns regarding problems with vaccine distribution and possible side effects.
Interestingly, this procrastination mindset has been seen before during the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic when both the general public and healthcare workers showed low levels of acceptance of the vaccine due to safety concerns.
Vaccine against vaccine
[People who are not sure if they will get the COVID-19 vaccine.]
The vaccine-averse group, which is more common among cautious suburban parents, constitutes 12% of the total of the study. They are more likely to be women and are anxious about the amount of time they spend testing vaccines and therefore require more transparency around the science.
That said, this group could easily be swayed as they are more receptive to word of mouth and message boards for advice from their peers through any other medium.
[People who will only get the vaccine if it’s necessary for travel, school, work etc.]
The group obliged to the vaccine is constituted by eleven% of the total, and has a bias towards men between 16 and 24 years old.
While this group is also concerned about potential side effects, their responses suggesting that a vaccine may not be necessary to fight COVID-19 was above average compared to other segments of the study. They also rank above average when it comes to seeing themselves as traditionalists.
Skeptic of the vaccine
[People who won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine.]
The vaccine skeptical group is another eleven% of the total. However, this group is predominantly female, aged between 45 and 64 years old and with lower than average income. They are less likely to have a college degree and more likely to live in a rural area.
Along with concerns about potential side effects, this group is generally more pessimistic about containing COVID-19. Therefore, a small percentage do not believe that a vaccine will help tackle the global health crisis.
With remarkably low confidence levels, this group is one of the most difficult to reach and potentially persuade. However, what makes them unique is their lack of faith in the scientific process.
[People who will not get the vaccine, because they are against vaccines in general.]
It is important to note that those who choose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine should not be confused with anti-vaccines.
Anti-vaccines are a subsegment of the skeptical group of vaccines that make up 1.4% of the total population. The difference is that anti-vaccines don’t believe in getting some vaccine due to safety concerns, not just not a vaccine for COVID-19.
According to the study, anti-vaccines tend to fall into one of two age groups, between 16-24 years or 55-64 years, and are generally men with lower incomes.
Another tool in the Arsenal against COVID-19
The study shows that broad segments of society, regardless of their demographics or views, are at least somewhat concerned about the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines.
While scientists aren’t quite sure whether current vaccines on the market can stop virus infection or transmission, they are an important part of our global defenses against COVID-19, along with other safety restrictions like wearing masks and keeping distance.
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