New polling by Ipsos MORI shows that arguments against taking a COVID-19 vaccine have lost ground since last November, although some theories are proving harder to dispel.
Before the vaccine roll-out began late last year, the majority of Britons were convinced by the argument that there had not been enough time to see the side-effects of the vaccine – now just two in five (41%) think the same, down 20ppt.
Just six months ago, around half thought there had not been enough time to test whether the vaccine really works – now just a third (35%) think that is a persuasive reason to not get vaccinated (down 23ppt). Similarly, only three in ten (31%) are convinced by the argument that vaccine doses will be limited, and others will need them more, 20ppt fewer than last November.
This said, whilst believed by only a minority, some arguments against taking the vaccine are proving harder to dispel. Around one in five (19%) still argue that vaccines can cause autism, up from 15% since November. A similar proportion say the vaccine is too expensive (20%) despite it being free, and that previous flu vaccines they have had in the past have not worked (24%). One in four (24%) think COVID-19 is unlikely to make people seriously unwell. All these arguments are relatively unchanged compared to six months ago.
Britons yet to be vaccinated are more susceptible towards arguments against getting jabbed. Around two in five (63%) of the unvaccinated are convinced by arguments which say there hasn’t been enough time to see what the side-effects of the vaccine might be. This compares to a third of those who had at least one dose (33%).
Similarly, around half of people unvaccinated are convinced by arguments against taking it such as there has not been enough time to test whether it works (52%), doses of the vaccine will be limited and others will need it more (50%) or they don’t trust the Government telling them to take it (49%).
Meanwhile, the majority of Britons are now convinced by all the arguments tested in favour of taking the vaccine. Among the most convincing is that a vaccine will reduce the risk of people becoming seriously ill if they do catch COVID-19 (83%), along with the belief that getting vaccinated will protect others from catching the virus (83%).