Press Release

Most Ukrainians are ready to be vaccinated against COVID-19: UNICEF study

26 April 2021

  • The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Ukraine presents the results of a survey “Attitude to vaccination against COVID-19”, conducted in March 2021 by the research agency Info Sapiens with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The study shows that Ukrainians do not only know about the disease from the news: for many COVID-19 has already been experienced in person. Thus, 82 per cent of respondents said that they had faced the disease in their neighbourhood, and 22 per cent indicated that they had been ill themselves, while 43 per cent of respondents said that the disease had had serious consequences for themselves or for their inner circles. (graph 1)

More than two-thirds (71 per cent) of the respondents consider the pandemic to be a threat to themselves and their families. Among those over the age of 60, this figure is even higher at 81 per cent. (graph 2)

Most Ukrainians consider vaccination to be an effective way to protect themselves from COVID-19. If it was possible to be vaccinated for free from COVID-19, 63 per cent of respondents would like to do so, but 31 per cent would only do so with certain vaccines. The older generation is more willing: 71 per cent of those over 60 would agree to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for free. (graph 3)

Ukrainians believe that the main reasons for being vaccinated against COVID-19 are (graph 4):

  • “not to get sick with coronavirus, not to have complications from the disease”: 83 per cent.
  • “not to infect others”: 66 per cent.

“The findings of the study will be useful for the policy makers who are conducting COVID-19 vaccination campaigns,” comments Lotta Sylwander, Head of the UNICEF Representation in Ukraine. “For example, we see an interesting fact: 67 per cent of elderly people would advise their relatives to be vaccinated against COVID-19 free of charge (graph 5). This means that people over the age of 60 could become vaccination ambassadors, and persuade relatives, friends, and acquaintances to get vaccinated.”

According to the survey, family doctors enjoy a high level of authority: overall, 64 per cent of Ukrainians and 72 per cent of people over the age of 60 follow their family doctor’s advice when making decisions about vaccination (graph 6). “We have seen already for quite some time that Ukrainians trust their doctors on matters regarding vaccination,” said Anna Sukhodolska, Chief of Communication for Development Section at UNICEF Ukraine. “Hence it is extremely important that family doctors talk to their patients about vaccination, guided only by the principles of evidence-based medicine.”

The study also shows the confidence among Ukrainians in routine vaccination. As a whole, 78 per cent of Ukrainians agree while 84 per cent of people over the age of 60 are more likely to agree with the statement (graph 7) “it is important for a child to be vaccinated and have immunizations”.

About 70 per cent of respondents believe that vaccination is effective in preventing dangerous diseases and 63 per cent consider it to be safe (graphs 8,9). This means that most people in Ukraine understand the need for vaccinations to protect themselves and their children from dangerous diseases like tuberculosis, tetanus, measles, diphtheria, and pertussis.

“For many years, UNICEF in Ukraine has been working on behaviour changes in immunization of children and adults, so we are certainly happy to see such high level of trust towards vaccination,” concludes Lotta Sylwander. “Last year became a stark reminder of the role vaccines play in protecting everybody in the world. Today, vaccination is our greatest hope for overcoming the pandemic and restoring our usual way of life.”

More details about the graphs (in Ukrainian) and results of the study can be found at: https://cutt.ly/NvD35te.

The study was conducted by telephone interviews (calls to mobile phones lasting up to 15 minutes). 2,027 people over the age of 18 were interviewed in all regions of Ukraine, except for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions not controlled by the Government. The sample is representative of the adult population of Ukraine and corresponds to the data of the State Statistics Service as of 1 January 2020 by sex, age, size of settlement, and region.

Most Ukrainians are ready to be vaccinated against COVID-19: UNICEF study

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Nina Sorokopud

UNICEF
Chief of Communications

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