Most Koreans Worry About Coronavirus Vaccine Side Effects

  • By Lee Joon-woo

    January 15, 2021 09:21

    Two out of three Koreans want to wait for their coronavirus vaccinations until they see that it works for others.

    In a poll of 1,094 people released Thursday, 67.7 percent of respondents said they will wait before getting the jab, while 28.6 percent said they want to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

    The poll was conducted on Jan. 8-10 by a team at Seoul National University's Graduate School of Public Health.

    The response reflects mounting worries about the safety of vaccines after reports about side effects in countries where vaccinations have already started.

    Asked if they believe proper clinical trials were performed, only about half or 50.3 percent said yes, while 43.6 percent said no.

    The Korean government will start vaccinations for priority recipients as soon as vaccines from AstraZeneca arrive next month.

    But respondents' willingness to get vaccinated soared to 80.3 percent provided that experts guarantee the safety of vaccines and vaccines are free. Only 13.4 percent said they will still refuse.

    Asked about a third wave of the epidemic, 23.8 percent said they believe the worst is over while 51.9 percent said the worst is yet to come.

    "The poll was conducted when the latest surge showed some signs of abating as the daily number of new cases fell below 700," said Prof. Yoo Myung-soon, who led the survey. "Many people seem to believe that a worse crisis is in the offing."

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