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Fewer vaccines for those who want them

Women wait in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Siliguri, India

Diptendu Dutta /AFP / Getty Images

In low- and middle-income countries, where vaccination against the novel coronavirus is still in the early stages, the proportion of people who want to get vaccinated is considerably higher than in richer countries where they are more widely available. In a survey of 44,260 people in 10 low- and middle-income countries (five in Africa, four in Asia, and one in Latin America) and two high-income countries (Russia and the USA), an international group of researchers examined vaccine acceptance levels and the reasons people gave for why they would take the immunizer. On average, 80.3% of people in low- and middle-income countries planned to get the vaccine, compared to 64.6% in the USA and 30.4% in Russia. The most cited justification (91%) for accepting the inoculant was personal protection, while the main cause for hesitation was a fear of adverse reactions (Nature Medicine, July 16). “If we want to maximize global coverage, we should prioritize sending more vaccines to low- and middle-income countries,” Niccolò Meriggi, coauthor of the paper and an economist at the International Growth Centre (IGC) in Sierra Leone, told SciDevNet. As of June, just 10 countries had received more than 75% of all available doses.