Two in five (42%) UK adults are concerned about the 12-week delay between receiving the first and second doses of a coronavirus vaccine, according to a new poll by Savanta ComRes.
The poll, conducted over last weekend, shows an 8pt drop in those who are concerned over the previous fortnight, and comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) has now advised that spacing out the two doses as the UK is doing makes the vaccine more effective.
The poll also finds that more than half (55%) of people are now confident that the government will hit its target to have all people in the top four priority groups vaccinated by 15 February, despite the Prime Minister yesterday appealing to the 2m people who have yet to take up the offer of a vaccine to “come forward”.
The proportion of people who are confident the government will hit its target (55%) has risen by 6pts in the last week (from 49%), and 20pts in the last month (from 35%).
Two thirds (66%) of the public remain keen to receive the vaccine, with the one in eight (12%) reluctant at its lowest figure in a Savanta ComRes poll ever, including one in five (20%) younger adults (18-34) and a similar proportion (19%) of Londoners.
And half (51%) of UK adults continue to say that the general public are most to blame for the rise in coronavirus cases in 2021, with a third (34%) saying the government is most to blame, and 6% saying ‘other’.
Older adults aged 55+ are more likely to hold the public most responsible for the rise in cases (65%) compared to 18-34s (36%), while the opposite is true when it comes to the government being most to blame, with two in five (41%) 18-34s saying this compared to just a quarter (24%) of those aged 55+.
As ministers struggle to have a consistent line over whether the public should or should not be booking their summer holidays, previous Savanta ComRes polling from January found that just a quarter (23%) are optimistic that they will go on holiday abroad in 2021, while twice as many (51%) are pessimistic.
The poll comes as Savanta ComRes releases its latest Westminster voting intention, with the Conservatives opening up a 4pt lead over Labour, the largest Conservative lead in a Savanta ComRes poll since early November.
Commenting on the findings, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said, “Recent government communications on the efficacy of the 12-week delay between vaccine doses have clearly had some impact, with the level of concern about it dropping 8pts in a fortnight, and it’s now very likely that will drop significantly further having been rubber-stamped by the WHO.
“Increased confidence in the government’s vaccine target and effective rollout may well be contributing to an increased poll lead for the Conservatives, and while recent data also shows that most Brits are already pessimistic about the likelihood of a foreign holiday this year, ministers expressing caution about the prospect of summer holidays is unlikely to upset many – although a clearer and united message on this front will no doubt help things further.”