COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and hesitancy in low- and middle-income countries

Julio S. Solís Arce, Shana S. Warren, Niccolò F. Meriggi, Alexandra Scacco, Nina McMurry, Maarten Voors, Georgiy Syunyaev, Amyn Abdul Malik, Samya Aboutajdine, Opeyemi Adeojo, Deborah Anigo, Alex Armand, Saher Asad, Martin Atyera, Britta Augsburg, Manisha Awasthi, Gloria Eden Ayesiga, Antonella Bancalari, Martina Björkman Nyqvist, Ekaterina BorisovaConstantin Manuel Bosancianu, Magarita Rosa Cabra García, Ali Cheema, Elliott Collins, Filippo Cuccaro, Ahsan Zia Farooqi, Tatheer Fatima, Mattia Fracchia, Mery Len Galindo Soria, Andrea Guariso, Ali Hasanain, Sofía Jaramillo, Sellu Kallon, Anthony Kamwesigye, Arjun Kharel, Sarah Kreps, Madison Levine, Rebecca Littman, Mohammad Malik, Gisele Manirabaruta, Jean Léodomir Habarimana Mfura, Fatoma Momoh, Alberto Mucauque, Imamo Mussa, Jean Aime Nsabimana, Isaac Obara, María Juliana Otálora, Béchir Wendemi Ouédraogo, Touba Bakary Pare, Melina R. Platas, Laura Polanco, Javaeria Ashraf Qureshi, Mariam Raheem, Vasudha Ramakrishna, Ismail Rendrá, Taimur Shah, Sarene Eyla Shaked, Jacob N. Shapiro, Jakob Svensson, Ahsan Tariq, Achille Mignondo Tchibozo, Hamid Ali Tiwana, Bhartendu Trivedi, Corey Vernot, Pedro C. Vicente, Laurin B. Weissinger, Basit Zafar, Baobao Zhang, Dean Karlan, Michael Callen, Matthieu Teachout, Macartan Humphreys, Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, Saad B. Omer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Widespread acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines is crucial for achieving sufficient immunization coverage to end the global pandemic, yet few studies have investigated COVID-19 vaccination attitudes in lower-income countries, where large-scale vaccination is just beginning. We analyze COVID-19 vaccine acceptance across 15 survey samples covering 10 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Asia, Africa and South America, Russia (an upper-middle-income country) and the United States, including a total of 44,260 individuals. We find considerably higher willingness to take a COVID-19 vaccine in our LMIC samples (mean 80.3%; median 78%; range 30.1 percentage points) compared with the United States (mean 64.6%) and Russia (mean 30.4%). Vaccine acceptance in LMICs is primarily explained by an interest in personal protection against COVID-19, while concern about side effects is the most common reason for hesitancy. Health workers are the most trusted sources of guidance about COVID-19 vaccines. Evidence from this sample of LMICs suggests that prioritizing vaccine distribution to the Global South should yield high returns in advancing global immunization coverage. Vaccination campaigns should focus on translating the high levels of stated acceptance into actual uptake. Messages highlighting vaccine efficacy and safety, delivered by healthcare workers, could be effective for addressing any remaining hesitancy in the analyzed LMICs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1385-1394
Number of pages10
JournalNature Medicine
Volume27
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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