Vaccine Confidence Vital to Curb COVID-19 in MENA
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck more than a year ago, biopharmaceutical companies responded swiftly and worked tirelessly to develop COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostics. Since then, vaccine candidates have endured rigorous testing through multiple phases of clinical trials and regulatory review. As health authorities continue to monitor the safety and efficacy of these medicines and approve them for public use, it is important for people to know that manufacturers followed a rigorous testing process, including tens of thousands of people.
The Vaccine Confidence Project (VCP) defines vaccine confidence as “the willingness to accept a vaccine once supply, access and information are available.” In simpler terms, vaccine confidence is high when the population that should receive a vaccine considers it safe and effective, and chooses to receive it.
A recent report by the VCP highlights public sentiment regarding the safety and efficacy of vaccines:
- 61% of respondents in the Middle East strongly agree (18% somewhat agree) that vaccines are safe, while 66% strongly agree (20% somewhat agree) that vaccines are effective.
- 72% of respondents in North Africa strongly agree (13% somewhat agree) that vaccines are safe, while 71% strongly agree (13% somewhat agree) that vaccines are effective.
As public confidence continues to grow throughout the MENA region, government and private sector officials must build on this already impressive momentum and practice transparency in communication and action. To eradicate the virus and minimize loss of life, patients must feel confident in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and choose inoculation. The health of people worldwide depends on it.