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Citizens in several nations keen to get Covid-19 shots but governments fail to cater to demands: Report

A study carried out by American polling company Gallup showed that in countries where people shunned vaccine skepticism and wanted to get vaccinated, governments in those nations have achieved limited success in their inoculation drives.
A medical worker gives a shot of Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to a woman during the vaccination in Podgorica, Montenegro. (AP Photo)
Published on May 05, 2021 05:59 PM IST
ByShankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Governments of several countries where people have shown extreme willingness to get inoculated if vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) are given for free have only achieved limited success in their vaccination drive, the data released by Gallup, an American analytics and advisory company, on Tuesday showed.

The study conducted before the vaccination drive against Covid-19 was launched in several countries, listed more than 30 nations where at least more than 70% of its population wanted to get the vaccines but only a handful of those nations are on track to achieve those targets.

In Myanmar, 96% of the respondents said that they would take the shots if provided for free. The study also found that if Myanmar does achieve this target, it would achieve the higher end of the herd immunity threshold, which is 90%. But the nation which continues to witness endless violence following the February coup has only been able to fully vaccinate 0.1% of its population, according to a vaccination dashboard compiled by news agency the New York Times.

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People in many countries also showed willingness to get vaccinated against Covid-19 but only a few of those nations have been able to cater to its citizens’ demand of vaccination. Among the top 10 nations listed below where citizens expressed extreme willingness to get vaccinated, barring Iceland (10% of the target population fully vaccinated) and Denmark (11%), the rest have achieved very less success in vaccinating its citizens.

Percentage of people who agreed to get vaccinated if a vaccine to prevent coronavirus was available right now at no cost

Country% of people who want to get vaccinatedCountry% of people who want to get vaccinatedCountry% of people who want to get vaccinated
Myanmar96%Sri Lanka80%Guatemala 71%
Nepal87%Tanzania 79%Ireland71%
Thailand85%Australia 76%Uzbekistan 70%
Iceland85%Iran 76%Honduras 70%
Denmark85%Mexico75%Indonesia 70%
Laos84%El Salvador75% Source: Gallup
Ethiopia84%United Kingdom75%
Cambodia84%Costa Rica74%
Bangladesh84%Norway74%
Egypt 83%Peru73%
India 82%Zimbabwe 73%
Vietnam 81%Germany73%
Mauritius 81%Ecuador72%
Saudi Arabia 80%Malaysia 72%

India, which ranks 11th in the table, where 82% of the people want to get vaccinated, has been able to administer the vaccine to only 8% of the population with only the first dose of the vaccine.

On the other hand, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom were among the countries where the vaccination rates corroborated to the percentage of people who wanted to get the shots. In Israel, at least 61% people wanted to get vaccinated and the nation has administered 60% of its target population with one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The UAE, where 68% of the population wished to get vaccinated, administered the entire population with at least one dose of the vaccine. In the United Kingdom 75% of the population wished to get the vaccine while the British government has been able to vaccinate 49% of the population with at least one dose of the vaccine.

Vaccine scepticism could impact the target of achieving herd immunity in most countries, the research conducted by Gallup shows. It surveyed 117 countries and areas found out that despite the pandemic continuing to claim lives across the world and few nations facing a severe second wave of coronavirus disease, nearly three in ten adults refused to be vaccinated. This number translates roughly to 1.3 billion people.

The study also pointed out that if people who are keen to take the vaccine against Covid-19, do actually get their shots, only 38 out of the 117 countries surveyed would achieve the lower end of the herd immunity threshold, which is 70%. Herd immunity is achieved when most of the population in an area is immune to a certain disease which then provides immunity to those who are not immune to the disease.

Attitudes towards the Covid-19 vaccine vary across nations. The study highlighted that Myanmar would be among the countries to achieve the higher end of the herd immunity threshold, which is 90%, as 96% of the people surveyed in the nation said that they would take the shots if provided for free.

Several nations have also expressed severe unwillingness towards getting vaccinated. Russia, whose Sputnik V vaccine is being considered as one of the most effective vaccines against Covid-19 in many nations, has failed to generate enough enthusiasm among Russians as only 61% of the respondents say that they will take the vaccine.

Until mid-April, Russia has fully vaccinated at least 5.3% of its target population and has administered one dose to at 8.5% of its target population.

A section of citizens of Bulgaria (61%) and Czech Republic (53%) surveyed also disagreed to take the vaccine, which could be a cause of concern, as Czech Republic, which leads the globe in overall deaths per capita from the virus, rushes towards reopening the country. Bulgaria, who as of mid-April reported the second-highest 14-day Covid-19 death rate in the European Union is also reopening at a quicker pace despite rise in number of cases.

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