Researchers have been collecting and disseminating a global COVID-19 behavior survey since July 2020. The survey has reached nearly 1.7 million participants in 67 countries. The most recent data was collected in the two weeks ending January 31.

After a slight increase to 66% of people saying they would get a vaccine at the beginning of January, the average acceptance level across the 23 countries surveyed in the study period fell to 63%. This is amid increased focus and media discussion on the rollout and access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Since March 2020, when WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, more than 111.5 million people have become sick and nearly 2.5 million have died from it, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. More than 500,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19, the largest number of deaths in any country in the world.

“We had hoped we would find that acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines was on the rise, since they are a critical part of ending the pandemic,” says Susan Krenn, executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP). “This just means we have more work to do in helping people understand why getting vaccinated is so crucial to helping them, their families, and their communities.”

Of five countries in the Americas, the data found, only the US saw a decline in vaccine acceptance in late January (from 69% to 65%). The other four countries—Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia—saw an increase of five percentage points in vaccine acceptance.

Reported vaccine acceptance rates in European countries remained constant, with Italy and the United Kingdom well into the range of achieving herd immunity. Some countries (Italy, the UK, and Germany) have very low rates of reported non-acceptance (8%, 10%, and 13%, respectively).

Read the full article about COVID-19 vaccine acceptance by Stephanie Desmon at Futurity.