Vaccinations currently prevent 2-3 million deaths every year, yet they have long been the source of controversy in society. This is due to many factors that affect certain populations around the world more, including lack of access to vaccinations, misinformation, religious beliefs, and lack of resources.
The World Health Organisation developed the Global Vaccination Action Plan with a goal to provide more equitable access to populations across the globe, however, many countries still have a long way to go to reach their vaccination targets.
With the introduction of COVID-19 and the development of vaccination, there is much information circulating about its safety and effectiveness.
As the vaccination is rolling out across the country, we were curious about the attitudes of people towards vaccinations in the United Kingdom and around the world. So, we conducted a survey and research to compile some key facts, insights, and statistics around vaccinations and immunisations, including:
- Attitudes towards vaccinations in the UK
- Seasonal flu vaccinations in the UK
- Attitudes towards receiving the COVID-19 Vaccination
- Children’s vaccinations globally
- Attitudes towards vaccinations, globally
- Perceived effectiveness of vaccinations
Here’s what we found:
Vaccinations in the United Kingdom
What are the main reasons for receiving a vaccination in the UK?
54% of respondents received a vaccination because it was recommended by their GP, a doctor or a paediatrician.
- 32% got vaccinated because it was recommended by the health authorities.
- 20% got vaccinated because they needed it to travel abroad
- 7% got vaccinated because it was mandatory under the law
- 4% because it was recommended by family and friends
What are the main reasons for not receiving a vaccination in the UK?
- 38% of respondents don't see the need to be vaccinated.
- 29% stated they are still covered by vaccines received earlier.
- 19% said they had not been offered any vaccine by their GP, doctor, or paediatrician.
- 5% say vaccines are only necessary for children
- 3% think that vaccines are unsafe and can have side-effects
- 3% say receiving vaccinations is complicated and requires a lot of effort.
Influenza Vaccination Uptake 2020/21
In October 2020, 51.6% of Frontline Healthcare Workers (NHS England Trusts and Teams) had the season flu vaccination, up from 43.6% in the 2019/20 flu season.
67.7% of Frontline Healthcare Workers at GP Practices had the flu vaccination as of October 2020.
Influenza Vaccination Uptake of GP Patients 2019/20 & 2020/21
|65 years and up||57%||67.9%|
|Under 65 (at-risk)||21.7%||31.4%|
|2 years old (at risk)||5.2%||42.4%|
|All 2 year olds||3.1%||37.8%|
|3 years old (at risk)||5.6%||44.6%|
|All 3 year olds||3.4%||39.4%|
Influenza Vaccinations of School Children (Ages 4 - 12), by region 2020/21
|East of England||19.7%|
|North East and Yorkshire||20.8%|
Children vaccinated for influenza at two or three years of age in the UK in 2019-20, by region.
During the 2019-20 winter season (1 September 2019 to 31 March 2020), all GP practices in England were asked to offer the influenza vaccine to registered children aged two or three years.
- In 2019-20 influenza vaccination coverage overall was just 43.8% for two and three year olds, a decrease from 44.9% in 2018-19.
- London was the region with the lowest percentage of vaccination coverage (32.4% in both 2018-19 and 2019-20).
- The South West was the region with the highest vaccination coverage - with 56.4% in 2018-19, down to 53.6% in 2019-20.
COVID-19 Vaccinations in the UK
A survey was conducted to determine the UK population’s attitude towards receiving a vaccination for the coronavirus. There were over 2000 respondents between the ages of 18 to over 65, and from across the UK. When asked if they would be willing to receive the vaccination, over 80% of respondents said “Yes”.
- More males than females are willing to receive the vaccination - 82.6% of men compared to 77.9% of women.
- 91.6% of people over the age of 65 are willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the highest of any age group.
- 74.6% of people aged 25-34 would get the vaccine, the lowest of any age group - just behind 18-24 year olds, with 75.8% willing to get the vaccine.
- Females aged 18-24 are the least likely to get the vaccine (73.6%)
- Males over the age of 65 are the most likely to get vaccinated, with over 93% responding “Yes”.
Global Vaccination Statistics
Global Children’s Vaccinations
- An estimated 19.7 million children under the age of one year did not receive basic vaccines in 2019
- The number of “zero-dose” children – or those in the same age group who did not benefit from any vaccination – was an estimated 13.8 million in 2019.
- 85% of infants around the world received three doses of polio vaccine in 2019., so that transmission of the poliovirus is now limited to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria.
Global vaccination coverage in 2019, by vaccine type
What percentage of the world’s population has been vaccinated?
This statistic displays the percentage of the world population that has been vaccinated using select routine vaccinations as of 2019.
- According to the data, globally, just 39% of people have a Rota last vaccine against the Rotavirus.
- 90% of the population have received the DTP1 (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccination.
|Vaccine Type||Vaccine coverage|
Opinions on Vaccinating Children, By Region
What share of people worldwide feel it's important for children to have vaccines?
Around 76% of people worldwide in 2018 strongly agree with the statement that vaccines are important for children to have, while 16% somewhat agree.
- East Asia and Western Europe were the regions of the globe with the least people who strongly agreed (60%).
- 99% of respondents in Eastern Africa and 98% in South Asia either strongly agree or somewhat agree with the statement.
- Eastern Europe is the region with the smallest percentage of respondents in agreement (80% overall), with 65% strongly agreeing with the statement and 15% somewhat in agreement.
|Region||Strongly agree||Somewhat agree|
|Central America & Mexico||74%||16%|
|Australia & New Zealand||69%||20%|
Countries Least Likely to Vaccinate
What countries have the highest share of people who don’t think vaccines are important for children to have?
Around 12% of people in both Armenia and Austria strongly or somewhat disagree that vaccines are important for children to have, compared to just 7% of people in Montenegro.
- 10% of people in France strongly or somewhat disagree.
- 8% of people in Italy strongly or somewhat disagree.
|Country||Percentage of people|
Global Opinions on Vaccine Effectiveness
What percentage of people globally agree that vaccines are effective?
Around 84% of people globally believe that vaccines are effective, with 63% strongly agreeing, and 21% somewhat agreeing.
- Around 63% of people strongly agreed that vaccines are effective in Central Africa, compared to 21% of people who somewhat agreed.
- 94% of people in South Asia agree that vaccines are effective overall, the highest of any region.
- Eastern Europe has the lowest percentage of people in agreement overall (65%)
- In East Asia and Western Europe, just 44% strongly agree with the statement, the lowest percentage of any region.