Up to 30% of Belgians are anywhere from sceptical to strongly opposed to receiving a potential coronavirus vaccine, a new international survey showed.
Polling agency Ipos conducted a survey on public opinions towards the coronavirus vaccine in 27 countries around the world, ranging from EU countries like Belgium and France to China, Brazil and Australia.
The survey of 20,000 people showed that Belgium was among the countries with the highest number of respondents who expressed some degree of averseness to a vaccine, landing above the global average of 26%.
Asked to say to which degree they agreed with the statement: “If a vaccine for Covid-19 were available, I would take it,” 17% of Belgian respondents said they somewhat disagreed, while 14% said they strongly disagreed.
Globally, fear of potential side effects was the leading reason cited by respondents of the survey who were reluctant to get vaccinated, with 57% listing it as the cause.
The second most prevalent reason was scepticism of the vaccine’s effectiveness (given by 29% of respondents globally), while the third was a belief that they were not particularly vulnerable to the disease (19%).
Out of the 70% of Belgian respondents who expressed some degree of willingness to get a vaccine, 34% said they strongly agreed with the idea of getting vaccinated while 36% said they “somewhat agreed” with it.
Among the 27 countries, only Turkey and Peru had equal rates of negative attitudes to a potential vaccine, contrasting sharply with Brazilians and Australians (12%), as well as with respondents in China, where opposition to a vaccine plunged to a mere 3%.
The survey also showed that 22% of Belgians polled said they would not get a vaccine because “they are against vaccines in general,” landing Belgium among the six countries with the highest number of respondents to hold this view.
Overall, Russia and Italy had the highest degree of anti-vaccine responses (30%), followed by France (24%), South Africa (23%) and the United States (20%).
For the survey, Ipsos polled around 1,000 individuals per country between 24 July and 7 August.