Covid vaccine: One in five reluctant to get coronavirus jab, survey suggests

Tom Batchelor
·2-min read
Virus Outbreak Vaccine (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Virus Outbreak Vaccine (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

One in five people would be reluctant to take part in the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme, a survey suggests.

Two-thirds (67 per cent) said they would be either "likely" or "very likely" to volunteer for a coronavirus jab, while 23 per cent of respondents said they would be unlikely to put themselves forward for a vaccine.

A further 10 per cent of people said they were undecided, the poll by Savanta ComRes for ITV News found.

Notably, the survey found there was a greater willingness to get a jab if the vaccine programme remained voluntary, as the government has said it will.

The proportion of people who said they were willing to get the jab dropped to 65 per cent when told to imagine a scenario where the vaccine was mandatory.

Among those who expressed reluctance to take part, a fear of potential side effects was cited as the most common reason, followed by a mistrust of pharmaceutical companies, the government and the medicines regulator.

One in 10 of those who said they were reluctant to take part said they believed the pandemic was a hoax. Another 12 per cent said they believed vaccinations contain microchips or other devices.

The survey involved 2,090 UK adults and was conducted between 20 and 22 November — before the government announced that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had been approved for use.

The jab has been shown in studies to be 95 per cent effective and works in all age groups.

The Department of Health and Social Care said the vaccine would be made available across the UK from next week.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine, enough to vaccinate 20 million people.

Around 10 million doses will be available for use in the UK shortly for priority groups, including healthcare workers.

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