Covid vaccine uptake increased worldwide last year

Acceptance of the vaccine against covid-19 increased last year worldwide, rising from 75.2% in 2021 to 79.1% in 2022. This is reflected in a study published today in ‘Nature Medicine’, conducted in 23 countries (representing more than 60% of the world’s population) led by the. Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), of the La Caixa Foundation, and the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH). The vaccine is the great weapon of defense against the virus. The massive wave of infections occurring in China has to do, in part, with the country’s low vaccination rate: less than 40% of those over 65 years of age were immunized. The authors of the study warn, in turn, that. fourth-dose coverage is still insufficient. in countries such as Spain and they call on the authorities to place “more emphasis” on this.

However, despite the fact that globally there has been an increase, according to the ISGlobal study, in the acceptance of vaccine declined in eight countries and nearly one in eight vaccinated respondents, particularly younger men and women, showed reluctance to receive a booster dose. The study highlights a large variability between countries and the need for adapt communication strategies to address reluctance to vaccinate. In Catalonia, epidemiologists warn that the rate of the fourth dose of covid-19 is “improvable” and warn that, in the population’s imagination, the pandemic is already over. The threat of contagions from China makes necessary to continue to make progress in the punctures.

“The pandemic is not over and the authorities must urgently address vaccine hesitancy and resistance as Part of their prevention and mitigation strategy. of covid-19,” says Jeffrey V Lazarushead of ISGlobal’s Health Systems Research Group. However, for this to happen, policymakers need to robust data on trends in vaccine reluctance. (whether it is decreasing or increasing and in which populations) and the factors influencing it (such as income or education level).

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“It is good news that vaccination has increased, but we still have the problem that among those who received the full guideline [las dos vacunas] there are people who do not accept the booster doses. [la tercera y la cuarta] because the authorities are not giving them the same importance,” Lazarus says. “In Spain we have too many people without the second booster dose. Spain knows how to vaccinate, the authorities should put much more emphasis.” he adds.

Study in 23 countries

The study is based on a series of surveys conducted from 2020 in. 23 countries highly populated and heavily affected by the pandemic (Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and United States). The data presented in ‘Nature Medicine’ correspond to the third survey, conducted between June and July 2022.

From the 23,000 people surveyed (1,000 per country surveyed), the 79.1% were willing to accept vaccination. This result represents a 5.2% increase with respect to June 2021. Parents’ willingness to vaccinate their sons and daughters also increased. slightly, from 67.6% in 2021 to 69.5% in 2022. However, eight countries noted an increase in reluctance. (from 1.0% in the United Kingdom to 21.1% in South Africa).

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In addition, almost one in eight (12.1%) vaccinated persons surveyed. hesitated about getting a booster dose. This hesitancy was greater among younger age groups. (between the ages of 18 and 29). Experts call for continued monitoring of these data, to contain possible new variants and to address the “indecisiveness” of part of the population.

Treatments

The ISGlobal survey also provides new information on treatments received. Globally, the ivermectin was given With the same frequency as other approved drugs, despite the fact that WHO and other agencies do not recommend its use to prevent or treat covid-19.

In addition, almost 40% of respondents reported paying less attention than before to new information about covid-19 and giving less support for vaccination mandates.

In some countries, reluctance to vaccinate was associated with variables such as the female sex (e.g., China, Poland, Russia), the not having a university degree (e.g., France, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, and the U.S.) or have lower incomes (e.g., Canada, Germany, Turkey, and the United Kingdom). In addition, the profile of people who paid less attention to the pandemic varied between countries.

“Our results show that the public health strategies to increase booster dose coverage will need to be more sophisticated and adaptable to each environment and target population.” Lazarus states. “To improve vaccine acceptance, strategies should include. messages transmitting compassion instead of fear and use trusted messengers, particularly healthcare professionals,” he adds.

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