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Vaccine hesitancy has the potential to cripple efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Policy makers need to be informed about the scale, nature and drivers of this problem, both domestically and globally, so that effective interventions can be designed. To this end, we conducted a statistical analysis of data from the CANDOUR survey (n = 15,536), which was carried out in 13 countries representing approximately half of the global population. Both pooled and country-level ordered regression models were estimated to identify predictors of vaccine hesitancy and reasons for not getting vaccinated. We found high levels of hesitancy, particularly in high-income countries. Factors driving moderate hesitancy differed from those driving extreme hesitancy. A lack of trust in health care providers was consistently the underlying driver of more extreme hesitancy. Predictors of moderate hesitancy varied across countries, though being younger and female was typically associated with greater hesitancy. While political ideology played a role in vaccine hesitancy in some countries, this effect was often moderated by income level, particularly in the US. Overall, the results suggest that different interventions such as mass-media campaigns and monetary incentives may be needed to target the moderately versus extremely hesitant. The lack of trust in health care professionals that drives extreme hesitancy may reflect deep societal mistrust in science and institutions and be challenging to overcome.

Original publication




Journal article


Health Policy

Publication Date





COVID-19, Global assessment, Predictors, Public health, Vaccine hesitancy