As several countries race to create a working vaccine against the coronavirus and several trials are underway, a new survey in Ireland offers a glimpse of the hurdles health officials will face to vaccinate people around the world in an effort to stem the outbreak.
The survey, released on Thursday, suggested that 65 percent of respondents would definitely be willing to take a vaccine for Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, and 9 percent would definitely not.
“Only 65 percent of people saying yes is staggeringly low, given what we are going through,” said Dr. Philip Hyland, an associate professor of psychology of Maynooth University, which carried out the survey in conjunction with Trinity College Dublin.
But he said there was room for optimism. “If the 26 percent of people who are saying maybe can be shifted to the yes category, then we would have over 90 percent uptake, which should be enough,” he said.
The survey sampled more than 1,000 people 19 days after Ireland imposed sweeping restrictions on movements. The report’s authors said that although the coronavirus’s spread was still poorly understood, a 60 percent vaccination rate might be enough to build “herd immunity” in the general population, although a higher figure would be desirable.
Dr. Frederique Vallieres, the director of Trinity College’s Center for Global Health, said that the 9 percent of people who opposed taking a vaccine included both ideological “anti-vaxxers” and people with underlying health conditions that would either prevent them from taking such vaccines or make them reluctant to do so.
She said that many of the undecided were concerned about the possible risks of any new vaccine and might be reassured by scientific evidence and public information campaigns when a vaccine emerged.