Key research findings:
- Vaccine rollout progressing well – 25% of our sample of over 13,000 people are now vaccinated
- Overall vaccine acceptance up from 63% to 66%, and 60% of people believe vaccines will be readily available to them, up 2%
- Notable differences between markets, particularly in markets where vaccination rates are lower
- Significant numbers continue to be concerned about COVID-19 vaccines
- Social media not a trusted source – only 5% of people trust social as their best source of information on COVID-19 vaccines
HONG KONG, June 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Cigna’s (NYSE:CI) International Markets business today published the second edition of its COVID-19 Vaccine Perception Study which shows that overall rates of vaccines acceptance have increased from 63% to 66% in a single month. The study, which aims to highlight perceptions and attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines around the world, surveyed over 13,000 people across 11 markets.
Vaccine acceptance and perception of safety are improving
Improvements in vaccine acceptance were seen in China, Singapore, Thailand and Spain. The ongoing successful rollout of vaccines means that overall, 6 out of 10 of our respondents now believe the vaccine will be available to them, a month on month increase of 2%. This is good news for governments and health authorities as it reflects improving confidence in their vaccine rollout programs.
This month’s data also shows that 55% of respondents now believe COVID-19 vaccines are safe. This is driven in part by the increased number of people who have already been vaccinated, across the 11 markets we have studied, 1 in 4 people who we surveyed have now received at least one shot.
Commenting on the report, Jason Sadler, President, Cigna International Markets said: "With global vaccine rollout progressing well, the report indicates that there is much to be positive about. Social acceptance plays an important role in trust, so being vaccinated, or knowing someone who has been vaccinated, leads to more positive views of the vaccine. 83% of those vaccinated trust COVID-19 vaccines are safe, whereas only 46% of those unvaccinated feel the same. Challenges remain, but the improved perception around vaccines and their safety should be welcomed."
Several markets still face issues regarding perceptions of vaccine safety. The difference between markets is striking. In South Korea for example, just 32% of respondents agreed the COVID-19 vaccines available are ‘very safe’, this compared to 80% in the UK and 78% in the UAE. The other markets where concerns about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines remain high include Taiwan, Thailand and Hong Kong, all of which had less than 40% of respondents agreeing they are safe.
To communicate the facts about safety effectively and encourage vaccine uptake, it is critical the authorities in these markets target their public information campaigns through the most trusted channels in their respective markets to have the greatest impact.
Our research busts some of the myths – social media is not a trusted source.
Throughout the pandemic, misinformation on social media has created obstacles to the successful handling of the pandemic and the vaccine rollout. However, Cigna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Perception Study shows that only 5% of the respondents consider social media to be the most trusted source of information, despite the vast majority being social media users.
Social media falls behind government bodies, family doctors, private healthcare providers and TV news and documentaries. Although in the 18-34 age bracket social media is the fourth most trusted source, for the over 35s it falls to the seventh most trusted source. There is a marked difference between generations on this, with 7% of 18-34-year-old saying it is their most trusted source, while in the over 55s this number falls to just 2%.
Commenting on the research Dr Daniel Ober, Medical Officer, Cigna International Markets Americas said: "Our research shows people increasingly understand and trust COVID-19 vaccines. We know that vaccination is a critical part of ending this pandemic. The science demonstrates the overwhelming effectiveness of vaccines to prevent severe COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and even death. Getting vaccinated is the most important thing for us to do, not just for ourselves, but for those we love. Our advice is clear, get vaccinated as soon as you can!"
Download the report
Click here to download the full COVID-19 Vaccine Perception Study Report – 2nd edition
Click here to download the COVID-19 Vaccine Perception Study Report – 1st edition
Cigna partnered with You Gov, the international research data and analytics group, engaged with 13,387 respondents between 16th and 20th April 2021. The respondents were a representative sample aged 18 or over, 52% male and 48% female, from across 11 markets: Mainland China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, UK and US.
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