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Overall Increase Seen in COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance Globally

Vaccine hesitancy varied considerably; 12.1 percent of vaccinated individuals hesitant about booster doses

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2023 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 vaccine acceptance has increased, reaching 79.1 percent, but there is considerable variation in vaccine hesitancy between countries, according to a study published online Jan. 9 in Nature Medicine.

Jeffrey V. Lazarus, Ph.D., from the University of Barcelona in Spain, and colleagues conducted a third study of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among 23,000 respondents in 23 countries, surveyed from June 29 to July 10, 2022.

The researchers observed a 5.2 percent increase in willingness to accept vaccination from June 2021, reaching 79.1 percent. In eight countries, hesitancy increased, ranging from 1.0 to 21.1 percent in the United Kingdom and South Africa, respectively. Overall, 12.1 percent of vaccinated respondents were hesitant about booster doses. There was a slight increase seen in overall support for vaccinating children younger than 18 years, while a decrease was seen among parents who were personally hesitant. A total of 38.6 percent of respondents reported paying less attention to new COVID-19 information than they did previously. The investigators found a decrease in support for vaccination mandates. Medications to combat COVID-19 symptoms were taken by 24 percent of those who became ill.

“The most promising finding of the 2022 global survey is that COVID-19 vaccine acceptance has continued to rise in most countries studied, reaching 79.1 percent overall,” the authors write. “However, the wide variability of acceptance rates that we report could jeopardize efforts to control the pandemic.”

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