Resistance against a COVID-19 vaccine

As protests against vaccination become more widespread and as world leaders seem to consider shortcuts in the approval procedures of a new vaccine, support for vaccination could be waning. Does this show up in population surveys? We are compiling a rolling list of studies on the public view on vaccination. If you wish to bring new studies to our attention, your input is very welcome.


Globally, 74% of all adults (half of them without hesitation) would take a vaccine against COVID-19, if it were available.

On behalf of the World Economic Forum, IPSOS has carried out a global survey on attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination. Between 24/07/20 and 07/08/20, it interviewed 19,519 adults in 27 different countries. In each country, a majority is in favor of getting vaccinated. But between countries, big differences can be seen. On one hand, vaccination intent is almost unanimous in China (97%), and very strong in Brazil, Australia (88%) and India (87%). People in Russia (54%), Poland and Hungary (both 56%), on the other hand, seem much less convinced.

Among the naysayers, side effects (56% globally) are the main reason for rejecting a vaccine. 17% are against vaccines in general, with the highest percentage (30%) seen in Russia. From the numbers in the study, one can derive that 14% of the Russian adults would refuse all vaccines.

41% of global respondents believe a vaccine will be available still within this calendar year. China (87%), Saudi Arabia (75%) and India (74%) show most optimism. Skepticism prevails particularly in Germany, Belgium, Japan and Poland (all between 20 and 25%).


77% would get vaccinated; 2/3 of them with certainty.

In cooperation with the University of Hasselt, the Catholic University Leuven and the Université Libre de Bruxelles, the University of Antwerp carries out an ongoing study on the attitude of Belgians towards corona measures. Within this study, also the views on vaccination against COVID-19 are periodically addressed.

On September 8, 23,000 Belgians participated. 76.6% was, all in all, in favor of vaccination, compared with 87.6% end of July. Risk awareness increased: more than half of the respondents expressed concerns about serious side effects of a vaccine.

United States

49% of adult Americans would get vaccinated if a coronavirus vaccine becomes available. 20% would say outright no, while 31% are not sure yet.

This is the outcome of a poll carried out by The Associated Press – NORC Center for Public Affairs Research among 1056 adults in the period May 14-18.

A new poll by ABC News/Washington Post more than one week later (1001 adults questioned between May 25-28) suggests a slightly stronger inclination towards vaccination (the poll added explicitly that the vaccine was for free):

71% leans towards vaccination (43% yes, 28% probably), 28% not (15% no, 13% probably not).

The American studies find that being black and being a woman are negative predictors of the intention to get vaccinated. Positive correlations, on the other hand, are found with voting Democrat, with living in an urban area and with increasing age.

A similar survey in Italy conducted between May 12-18 on 1000 people reveals that:


41% are not yet in favor of vaccination, while 25% of respondents is. Another 34% would probably get vaccinated as well.

The age group 35-59 shows most reluctance. This result differs from the American findings, and is attributed to an overall better education of the age group 18-35.

Meanwhile the global race for a vaccine continues at a mind-boggling pace.

Three in four adults globally say they would get a vaccine for COVID-19, by Nicolas Boyon, Ipsos survey, 31.08.20

Bereidheid tot vaccineren blijft hoog, ondanks antivaxboodschappen, Resultaten negentiende enquête, Grote Coronastudie UAntwerpen, 08.09.20

AP-NORC poll: half of Americans would get a COVID-19 vaccine, AP News, 27.05.20. Poll conducted by The Associated Press – NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

27% unlikely to be vaccinated against the coronavirus; Republicans, conservatives especially: POLL, ABC News, 02.06.20. Poll conducted by ABC News/Washington Post

Quasi un italiano su due non si vaccinerebbe contro il coronavirus, Corriere della Sera, 20.06.20. The work here is part of the CRAFT project at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore at Cremona.

first version: 21/06/20, last updated: 17/09/20


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