Covid-19: Expectations and vaccination

Majorities in each of 30 countries believe we will never fully stop the spread of COVID, but views on vaccination mandates vary widely.

The author(s)

  • Nicolas Boyon Public Affairs, US
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People all over the world agree: COVID is here to stay

A new Ipsos survey for the World Economic Forum finds that, on average across 30 countries, 71% of adults do not expect that COVID-19 will ever stop spreading entirely. A majority of adults in every country – from 51% in China to 85% in the Netherlands – agree that “even with all the measures being taken, we will never be able to fully stop the spread of COVID-19 and variants.”

However, the survey reveals vastly different levels of popular support for mandatory vaccination across countries. In India, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and throughout Latin America, more than 75% support “making a COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for anyone eligible to receive one.” In most of Central and Eastern Europe as well as in the United States, majorities are opposed to it. Views about requiring proof of vaccination to be allowed in various facilities (e.g., sporting venues, restaurants, workplaces) mirror those on mandatory vaccination and vary similarly across countries.

Over the past year, support for vaccination mandates has grown significantly in China, Italy, Australia, Germany, and France, but it has decreased in Japan and the U.S.

These are the main findings of a survey of 20,525 adults aged 18-74 from 30 countries conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform between January 21 and February 4, 2022.

Belief COVID-19 will never stop spreading

While it is held by more than an average of 71% of adults across the 30 countries, the expectation that COVID-19 is with us permanently is especially prevalent in high-income countries of Northern Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific.

Support for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination

On average across all 30 countries surveyed, 63% support “making a COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for anyone eligible for it” while 32% oppose it and 5% don’t know.

Support exceeds 75% in emerging countries of Asia and Latin America, led by India (89%) Peru (86%). In contrast, opposition dominates in Romania (57%), Hungary (54%), Russia (53%), the United States (51%), and the Netherlands (51%).

Support for making COVID vaccination mandatory either for all adults aged 50+ or for those aged 18+ is generally no different than for “anyone eligible” although there are a few exceptions:

  • Support for making vaccination mandatory for all adults aged 50+ is higher than for “anyone eligible” in France, Belgium, Sweden, South Korea, but lower in China and Russia.
  • Support for making vaccination mandatory for all adults aged 18+ is higher than for “anyone eligible” in France and the Netherlands, but lower in Hungary and Romania.

Comparisons with a similar survey conducted in April 2021 in 12 countries show that support for mandating vaccination of all adults aged 18+ has grown significantly in China (+14 percentage points), Italy (+10), Australia (+10), Germany (+9), and France (+6), but decreased in Japan (-13) and the U.S. (-8) since then.

Support for requiring proof of vaccination

Support for requiring proof of vaccination to enter sporting events (71% on average globally) and to return to “normal activities such as travel” (69%) is slightly higher than for eating inside restaurants (66%) and returning to the workplace (64%). Geographic differences in the level of support for requiring proof of vaccination for each situation mirror those for vaccination mandates in general.

Read the World Economic Forum article.

This 30-country survey was conducted between Friday, January 21, and Friday, February 4, 2022, on Ipsos’ Global Advisor online survey platform among 20,525 adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, 21-74 in Singapore, and 16-74 in all 24 other countries.

The author(s)

  • Nicolas Boyon Public Affairs, US

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