In South Korea for example, just 32% of respondents agreed the COVID-19 vaccines available are ‘very safe’.
The overall rate of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance has increased from 63% to 66% in a single month, according to Cigna's recent research. Overall, six out of 10 respondents now believe the vaccine will be available to them, a month-on-month increase of 2%.
Surveying over 13,000 people across 11 markets in April, the study found improvements in vaccine acceptance were particularly seen in China, Singapore, Thailand. and Spain.
The data shows that over half (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, One in four surveyed people have now received at least one shot.
Nevertheless, several markets still face issues regarding perceptions of vaccine safety. The difference between markets on this aspect 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.
In terms of the credibility of the source of information, the study shows that only 5% of respondents consider social media as 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.
The 11 markets in the study include China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, UK, and the US.