Malaysians more optimistic than others, almost half believe Covid-19 vaccine to be available by end of year

48 per cent of Malaysians polled were confident that a Covid-19 vaccine will be available before the end of 2020. — Reuters pic
48 per cent of Malaysians polled were confident that a Covid-19 vaccine will be available before the end of 2020. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — Malaysians are the eighth most optimistic nation among 27 polled, with nearly half of its respondents confident that a Covid-19 vaccine will be available before the end of 2020, a recent survey by a multinational market research body Ipsos has said.

Ipsos' survey for the World Economic Forum indicated that 48 per cent of Malaysians polled felt this way, making them more optimistic than the global average of just 41 per cent.

The most optimistic nation is China at 87 per cent followed by Saudi Arabia (75 per cent) and India (74 per cent), while most Western countries and Japan are less optimistic about the prospect of a vaccine in 2020.

Its managing director for Malaysia Arun Menon said public opinion and acceptability play the most important role in the success of a Covid-19 vaccine, as countries and companies push against time to release it.

"Malaysians stand with the emerging economies, in their optimism for an early availability of Covid-19 vaccine. Universal and the affordable public health care system support Malaysian confidence in availability of a vaccine for the masses.

"Public authorities should be conscious about the general apprehension of side effects and vaccine effectiveness as potential barriers of adoption," he said in a statement.

The survey also discovered that regardless of socio-economic background, 74 per cent of those polled worldwide believe they will get a vaccine, once it becomes available. For Malaysians, this number reaches as high as 86 per cent.

Again, China is the most optimistic as 97 per cent believe they will get the vaccine, while Russians came in as the least optimistic at 54 per cent.

However, the number of Malaysians who may opt out of the vaccine is also relatively higher, as 36 per cent of those polled said they may do so as they do not consider themselves at risk of the pandemic, as well as concern over the vaccine's potential side effects and effectiveness. This is in contrast to the global average of 19 per cent.

The survey was conducted by Ipsos between July 24 and August 7, 2020 on its Global Advisor online survey platform among a total of 19,519 adults, aged 18 to 74 in United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, and aged 16 to 74 in 22 other countries.

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