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The more educated someone is, the less likely they are to get vaccinated, study shows

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Higher education is driving the decline in people’s willingness to get vaccinated, says new study.

In a new survey, about two-thirds of participants were unwilling or hesitant to get vaccinated.

Almost two-thirds of people who took part in a December 2020 survey in Jordan, the West Bank, and Syria said they didn’t want to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Sima Zein of the American University of Madaba, Jordan, and her colleagues write about these findings in the journal Neglected Tropical Diseases.

The World Health Organization says that people who don’t want to get vaccinated are a big threat to global health. Indeed, people who are afraid or don’t want to get a COVID-19 vaccine are a big problem for managing the pandemic. A better understanding of how people feel about COVID-19 vaccines could help people work to solve this problem.

In the new study, Zein and colleagues carried out a survey of 8,619 adults residing in Jordan, the West Bank, and Syria—regions with shared boundaries, culture, customs, and beliefs. The survey questioned individuals whether they planned to get vaccinated and, if not, why not. The study was carried out in December 2020, when the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths was high in all three regions.

According to statistical analysis of survey results, 32.2 percent of participants intended to get vaccinated, 41.6 percent did not, and 26.2 percent were unsure. The majority of those who were unwilling or hesitant to get vaccinated were concerned about the rigor of the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine-evaluation process, as well as potential long-term potential dangers.

Participants who were female, aged 18 to 35, Syrian, Jordanian, from a large family, had recently gotten a flu vaccine, or had a high school education or less were more likely to be willing to get vaccinated.

The authors were shocked to discover that people with higher levels of education were less likely to be vaccinated. They also remark that detrimental effects on Syria’s and Palestine’s healthcare systems as a result of political and economic turmoil may have influenced vaccination opinions.

In comparison to the United States:

According to a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult, 17 percent of US adults do not intend to get COVID-19 shots, and another 10 percent are unsure if they will be vaccinated, implying that more than one-quarter of Americans are vaccine-hesitant.

According to Morning Consult’s data, the United States has the second-highest vaccination reluctance rate among 15 high-income countries.

But in the United States, statistically significant differences in vaccine hesitancy were found in African-Americans, Hispanics, those who had children at home, individuals with lower education and incomes, rural dwellers, people in the northeastern US, and those who identified as Republicans.

These findings suggest that targeted efforts may be effective in increasing COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in the three regions and around the world.

Further research could help clarify which types of efforts might be most effective.

Zein said, “The predictors and factors behind the negative attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines in 3 countries in the Middle East, Palestine, Jordan and Syria.”

Source: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0009957

Image Credit: Getty

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