- Ongoing study run by UCL asks participants about their views during pandemic
- Found 22 per cent of people are ‘unlikely’ to accept a vaccine when one is made
- One in ten people consider themselves to be strongly opposed to the idea
Kate Pickles – Daily Mail Sept 24, 2020
A fifth of people in the UK may refuse to be vaccinated against coronavirus when a jab is available, a major study warned.
Researchers found a ‘concerning level of misinformation around vaccines’ which could significantly affect uptake once a Covid-19 vaccine is approved.
In the largest survey of its kind, 22 per cent of people said they were unlikely to be vaccinated with 10 per cent strongly opposed to it.
Just half (49 per cent) of the 17,500 people asked by University College London researchers said they ‘very likely’ to be immunised, while three-quarters (78 per cent) said they considered it ‘likely’.
Concerns over vaccine safety, mistrust of pharmaceutical companies and a preference for natural immunity were some of the factors behind the low uptake, which authors stressed ‘lack any basis in fact.’
The findings add to growing concerns over social media being overwhelmed by ‘anti-vaxxer’ myths and scare stories.
Almost one in three (30 per cent) had substantial beliefs that vaccines can cause unknown future problems, while one in seven (15 per cent) said they believed to varying degrees that vaccines do not work.
Dr Daisy Fancourt, from UCL’s Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, said: ‘Our study highlights a concerning level of misinformation around vaccines, which could significantly affect uptake once a Covid-19 vaccine is approved.
‘Whilst the majority of people have said they are likely to get a Covid-19 vaccine once one is available, a worrying amount of respondents have said that not only will they not get the vaccine, but that they don’t believe vaccines work or worry about potential side-effects, concerns that lack any basis in fact.’