As the COVID vaccinations roll throughout the world, a recent Gallup Poll shows that more than a billion people across the globe say they will not be getting the vaccine. To some, this might not be a surprising development; however, the countries most reluctant to get the poke in the arm may be illuminating.
While President Joe Biden is on a mission to have 70% of adults vaccinated by July 4 of this year, which he announced on May 4, there are still pockets of Americans who do not wish to test their luck with a new and only temporarily approved COVID cocktail. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the vaccines of three companies, but just for emergency-use authorization (EUA). Still, Americans seem to be lining up, despite vaccine recalls due to serious reactions in some patients, to take the experimental jab. By March 2021, according to the poll, 74% of Americans said they’d take the shot as long as it was free. This is, by far, not the case in other countries.
A 2020 Gallup Poll found that if everyone who said they would get the coronavirus jab did so, then 38 of the 116 countries surveyed would have reached the minimum 70% “estimated threshold for achieving herd immunity.” But people’s willingness to take the vaccine varies across the globe. For example, in Myanmar, 96% are willing to be poked while only 25% in Kazakhstan will take the shot. Meanwhile, worldwide, 32% (1.3 billion) refuse to take the COVID vaccination.
While Americans are lining up, people in Eastern Europe and former Soviet states are not so quick to take the plunge. According to the survey, they are the least likely to believe vaccines are safe and effective, and this was before the pandemic hit. In 2020, they were also less likely to take the vaccine, with only 43% in the Commonwealth of Independent States countries and 46% in non-EU-member countries in Europe saying they would get the vaccine.
According to the survey, in 2018, less than half of Russians (45%) agreed vaccines were safe and had the highest percentage in the world of the naysayers — at 24%. That number fell even more after the government released Sputnik V, its version of the COVID vaccination, with only 37% of Russians saying they would take the vaccine if offered.
Sub-Saharan African countries Gabon and Cameroon lead the world in shot refusals, with two-thirds of the population saying no. The numbers are high in Namibia, Senegal, and Togo as well for those unwilling to take an experimental vaccine.
Why are so many people, especially in other countries, refusing the jab? A spokesperson for America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLDS) told The Epoch Times that the high refusal numbers “should surprise no one particularly those from countries where years of authoritarian rule made people naturally more cautious about blind acquiescence to government mandates.” The spokesperson continued:
“Hesitancy among people is natural and should not be treated as controversial. It is often reflective of a distrust of government-provided information or a desire to examine more evidence and effectiveness before taking any medication.”
Distrust of government as well as big pharma likely plays a heavy role in people’s reluctance to take the jab. Reports of serious side effects and deaths have not eased concerns, and then there’s the fact of just how quickly a vaccine was developed, not allowing for long-term studies. The fear of forced vaccinations has soured others as well as the threat of mandated vaccine passports. As the AFLDS spokesperson explained:
“In addition, mandating vaccines that have not been fully approved and where long-term data is unavailable is not a sound medical or scientific approach. It violates federal and international laws. Many people are interested in waiting to see if new research comes that could cut against any EUA that permitted premature rollout of a new type of medication.”
How these fears will impact President Biden’s plan for national reopening is a question that many are asking.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.