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11% in Japan don't want COVID vaccine, refusal higher among younger people: survey

COVID-19 vaccine syringes ready for administration are seen in this photo. (Mainichi/Koichiro Tezuka)

TOKYO -- A total of 11.3% of respondents to a survey by Japan's National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry said they didn't want to get vaccinated against COVID-19, with 73.9% of those disinclined citing fears of adverse reactions, according to results announced by the center on June 25.

    The survey was administrated online between Feb. 8 and Feb. 26, with assistance from researchers at Fukushima Medical University, Osaka City University and other institutions. Responses were received from around 26,000 people nationwide.

    Altogether, 15.6% of female respondents up to age 39 said they didn't want to take the vaccine, compared to 14.2% of males in the same age bracket. Both results were higher than their counterparts aged 40 to 64, and 65 to 79.

    When explaining why in a field accepting multiple answers, reasons other than concerns over adverse reactions included, "I don't think it will be that effective," selected by 19.4%, "I don't have time for the shots," chosen by 8.8%, and, "I don't think I'll get infected," picked by 7.7%.

    The center pointed out that more than 80% of respondents in advanced age groups, who are thought to stand a greater chance of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms, mentioned concerns about adverse reactions to vaccinations. They were more likely than people in younger age groups to mention such concerns. On this point the center said, "There is a need for accurate information to be provided, thereby reducing people's anxiety."

    (Japanese original by Takashi Kokaji, Lifestyle and Medical News Department)

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