Ten months after the coronavirus pandemic, more than 35 million have been infected and more than a million have died. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) remains a global health threat as drugs and vaccines for the virus are not yet available.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 193 vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection are being developed and tested. Of these, 42 vaccine candidates are in clinical evaluation, with ten vaccines currently in the Phase 3 clinical trial. Scientists estimate that a vaccine could be available to the public by early 2021, if tests show the vaccines’ effectiveness and safety.
A new study published on the medRxiv * preprint server by scientists from the University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney, the Australian National University, the University of Newcastle, and the National Center for Immunization Research and Monitoring, aimed to do this To identify the public perfecting on a future COVID-19 vaccine in Australia. They wanted to know if Australians would get the vaccine when one became available.
Most would get the vaccine
To get to the study results, the research team conducted an online survey of Australian residents between March 18 and 24 through a marker research company. More than 1,400 people who were over the age of 18 took part in the survey.
The team asked respondents about their perception of the effectiveness of vaccines in general, the priorities for adopting COVID1-9 vaccines, and their social impact.
Overall, the participants were positive about the vaccination. Around 80 percent agreed that vaccination against COVID-19 would be a good way to protect yourself from infection. In addition, women were more likely than men to agree with the statement. Older people were also more likely to agree. More than 90.9 percent agreed than 76.6 percent in people ages 18 to 29.
People with self-reported comorbidities or chronic illnesses and people who have private health insurance were more likely to receive the vaccine. An estimated 78 percent said their family and friends supported their vaccination decision.
“This study provides an early indication of public perception of a future COVID-19 vaccine and provides a starting point for mapping vaccine perceptions,” the team concluded in the study.
“To support the effective rollout of these new vaccines, governments need to use this time to understand community concerns and identify the strategies that support the engagement,” they added.
Healthcare providers play a crucial role in educating patients about the benefits of vaccines, especially in the face of the raging pandemic. In Australia, where vaccines are dispensed in primary care, the focus is on helping clinicians and nurses. However, the researchers said that due to the higher risk of infection in adults, other providers should be considered.
COVID-19 worldwide toll
The coronavirus pandemic is far from over as countries are reporting exploding SARS-CoV-2 cases. The United States remains the nation with the highest number of confirmed cases, reaching more than 7.44 million infections and more than 210,000 deaths.
Other countries with devastating infections are India with more than 6.62 million cases, Brazil with more than 4.91 million cases and Russia with more than 1.21 million cases. South American countries also report high case numbers, such as Colombia with more than 855,000 cases, Peru with more than 828,000 cases, and Argentina with more than 798,000 cases.
However, of the 35.33 million confirmed infections, 24.57 million have already recovered.
* Important NOTE
medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be considered conclusive, guide clinical practice / health-related behavior, or treated as established information.