Survey shows more than 62% of Japanese willing to take COVID-19 vaccines
A survey conducted by a medical school in Tokyo on different sociodemographic groups in Japan showed that 62.1 percent of people polled showed a willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19, local media reported Wednesday.
According to the Tokyo Medical University team's survey, which was taken in January and the results of the survey were released this month, found that females and younger members of Japan's population said they were less willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine shot than males and older members of society.
"In order to raise the level of herd immunity, it is necessary to increase the percentage of those willing to get shots," Masaki Machida, a research associate at the university's Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health and head of the research, was quoted as saying.
Machida said there were no major differences between Japan and other countries in COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, based on similar surveys conducted overseas that revealed between 60 to 80 percent of those polled were willing to be vaccinated against the virus.
Machida did note, however, that different survey designs and parameters made it difficult to draw exact comparisons between countries' research findings.
The survey here was carried out when daily COVID-19 numbers nationwide were high, reaching a peak on January 8 at 7,949, which triggered the government to declare a second state of emergency for a number of prefectures including Tokyo and other major urban areas.
For Tokyo and three of its neighboring prefectures, the emergency period is still in place although Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday it would be lifted as scheduled on Sunday, with a formal announcement on the matter to be made on Thursday.
Meanwhile, when asked about their willingness to receive a COVID-19 jab, 62.1 percent of those surveyed said they would be "very likely" or "somewhat likely," with 56.4 percent of female respondents showing a willingness, compared with 68.0 percent of men.
Machida said it was likely that the percentage of those willing to be vaccinated had likely increased since the survey was carried out.
The survey found that the intended take up of vaccinations by different age groups varied, with 54.5 percent of people aged 20 to 49 saying they wanted to get vaccinated, compared to 63.6 percent of those aged 50 to 64 years and 74.5 percent of people aged 65 years and older.
"To increase COVID-19 vaccine coverage in Japan, it may be important to ensure vaccination among these populations with low vaccine acceptance," the report said.
Tokyo Medical University's poll carried out between January 14 and 18 received valid responses from 2,956 of 3,000 respondents.