LONDON (Reuters) – Most Britons reject COVID-19 “vaccine nationalism”, and say they would be willing to wait until health workers in other countries have had vaccines if that would help end the pandemic sooner, according to poll findings released on Monday.
Conducted in mid-August by polling firm Savanta ComRes for anti-poverty organisation The ONE Campaign, the survey found significant public support for COVID-19 vaccines being made available to all countries at the same time, regardless of how rich or powerful they are.
“British people clearly understand this global pandemic demands a global response. It simply won’t work for each country to go its own way,” said Romilly Greenhill, The ONE’s UK director.
“While this virus thrives anywhere, it threatens people everywhere.”
The World Health Organization called last week for an end to “vaccine nationalism” and warned against “hoarding” as a growing number of countries agreed bilateral deals to buy millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
The One Campaign poll results found that of more than 2,000 people surveyed, 82% said a country that develops a COVID-19 vaccine should share that knowledge, and 76% think COVID-19 shots should be available in all countries at the same time.
More than 80% think that when a COVID-19 vaccine is available, it should be distributed in the most effective way to beat the pandemic globally. Some 71% think that if it means the pandemic could be ended more quickly, health workers in Britain and then other countries should get vaccines first, even if healthy people at home have to wait a bit longer.
(Reporting by Kate Kelland, editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)