Are UK Doctors Sceptical of COVID-19 Vaccine?

Tim Locke

November 25, 2020

A Medscape UK reader poll of 308 UK doctors found 4 in 10 would not have a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is approved by the MHRA.

Online polling took place 18-23 November after the positive Pfizer/BioNTech results but with most responses received before the positive news about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Safety Concerns

Of those who wouldn't have the jab at this stage:

  • 56% cited safety concerns

  • 27% would rather wait

  • 7% mentioned personal health reasons

  • 14% had other reasons

Overall, 59% said vaccination for healthcare staff should not be compulsory. Among those who wouldn’t have the jab at this stage, 9 out of 10 were against compulsory staff vaccination.

Herd Immunity

Vaccination rates against SARS-CoV-2 of around 60-72% are thought to be needed to make it effective, according to a recent Lancet article.

Polling by Kantar of 1000 people carried out 10-11 November found 76% of people in Britain would have a vaccine for COVID-19.

That's fallen since June when 78% said they would be vaccinated.

In these latest results, 53% were worried about safety and the speed of development.

However, 57% were confident that a vaccine will not be dangerous if it is proposed by public authorities.

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