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Danes are the most willing to be vaccinated against Covid-19

A new analysis from the Semper Ardens project HOPE, which measures the population's behavior and attitudes during the corona pandemic, shows that across eight Western democracies, Denmark has the highest number of citizens prepared to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

79 percent of the Danish population is willing to be vaccinated against Covid-19 if the health authorities encourage it. Thus, Danes are more willing to be vaccinated against Covid-19 than, for example, Britons (65 percent), Germans and Italians (54 percent) and Swedes (50 percent).

This is the conclusion of an analysis made by the HOPE project, led by Professor Michael Bang Petersen from Aarhus University with Semper Ardens funding from the Carlsberg Foundation.

“The authorities have a significantly easier task in Denmark than in our neighboring countries. Effective and safe vaccines play a crucial role in the fight against covid-19, but it is not enough to get them in stock. The authorities also depend on the citizens wanting to be injected, and vaccine skepticism is a real challenge in all the countries we have looked at”, says Michael Bang Petersen.

In relation to the new analysis from the HOPE project, the Chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation Flemming Besenbacher, states: “I am proud that the Carlsberg Foundation acted so quickly in the early phase of the corona crisis in March 2020 by awarding a substantial grant to Professor Michael Bang Petersen and the HOPE project. Research into the behavior of the population has been crucial in order to provide the best advice to the government and the authorities on how to inform and guide the population so that citizens maintain confidence in the authorities and therefore act appropriately for the common good. Michael Bang Petersen's project is an excellent example of research that can form the basis of science-based policy”.

The most corona-tired are the most vaccine-skeptical

Together with three colleagues, Michael Bang Petersen has investigated what characterizes vaccine sceptics and what determines whether you want to say yes or no to a vaccine. They present the results in the analysis "Willingness to Use an Approved COVID-19 Vaccine: Cross-National Evidence on Levels and Individual-Level Predictors". The analysis has not yet been published in a scientific journal and has therefore not yet been through a so-called peer review.

However, the analysis is available and can be read here

Perhaps surprisingly, the analysis shows that people who feel exhausted because of the corona situation are more likely to be skeptical of an upcoming vaccine.

"Paradoxically, there seems to be a tendency that the greater the need you feel to return to a normal life, the less willing you are to be vaccinated yourself. And that is remarkable, because it can then turn out that the willingness will decrease the longer the shutdown”, says Michael Bang Petersen.

Herd immunity requires 80 percent vaccinated

The analysis is based on questionnaire surveys in the following eight countries: Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, France, Germany, and Hungary. A total of 9,889 people participated. Data were collected in the period 13 September to 7 November in collaboration with Epinion.

Health researchers have previously estimated that over 80 percent of a population needs to be vaccinated to ensure adequate herd immunity.

"One of the most worrying aspects facing the authorities is that the willingness may decline further in the coming months. People's exhaustion over the corona situation seems to create resistance”, says Michael Bang Petersen.

Trust in the health authorities also plays a significant role in people's willingness to be vaccinated. In the survey, Denmark scores highest on both willingness to get the vaccine and trust in the health authorities, while the UK scores second highest on both and Germany third highest.

"Especially that factor seems to be able to explain the differences we see across countries," says Michael Bang Petersen.”

Read more about the HOPE project




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