HealthDay News — COVID-19 vaccine acceptance has increased, reaching 79.1%, but there is considerable variation in vaccine hesitancy between countries, according to a study published online January 9 in Nature Medicine.

Jeffrey V. Lazarus, PhD, 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% increase in willingness to accept vaccination from June 2021, reaching 79.1%. In 8 countries, hesitancy increased, ranging from 1.0 to 21.1% in the United Kingdom and South Africa, respectively. Overall, 12.1% 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% 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% 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% overall,” the authors write. “However, the wide variability of acceptance rates that we report could jeopardize efforts to control the pandemic.”

Abstract/Full Text