Around 1.3 billion people worldwide said that they will not get a COVID-19 vaccine if it became available at no cost, according to a Gallup poll taken in the last six months of 2020 and released Monday.
The 1.3 billion was a combination of 29 percent, or around three in 10 adults, worldwide who refused to be vaccinated, and another 3 percent who were undecided or refused to answer.
The rollout of the vaccines may be more challenging in certain countries, where more than 50 percent of people in 20 countries and areas said that they were unwilling to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
These countries are Gabon, Cameroon, Jordan, Hungary, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Senegal, Togo, Cyprus, Czech Republic, North Macedonia, Albania, Poland, Namibia, Lebanon, and Ukraine. Less than 2 percent of the population in eight of the countries have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Sub-Saharan African countries Cameroon and Gabon led the list with the highest percentage of its population refusing the vaccine at 66 percent and 65 percent, respectively.
Although vaccine refusal may be high in some of the sub-Saharan African countries, the low COVID-19 mortality rate has puzzled scientists. As of April 28, the cumulative death count for the entire 46 sub-Saharan African countries was 79,804 deaths, or a case fatality risk of 2.5 percent, according to healthasset.org, which is collecting data on COVID-19 in the area. More than half of the deaths occurred in South Africa.