Visualizing Global Attitudes Towards COVID-19 Vaccines
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Visualizing Global Attitudes Towards the COVID-19 Vaccines

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Visualizing Global Attitudes Towards COVID-19 Vaccines

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Visualizing Global Attitudes Towards COVID-19 Vaccines

View the high-resolution of the infographic by clicking here.

To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate? That is the question.

In order to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, some experts believe that between 70% to 80% of a population must be vaccinated.

But attitudes towards these vaccines are undoubtedly mixed. In fact, it’s estimated that one-third of people globally have some major concerns.

Using survey data from eight different countries, Global Web Index created five archetypes to help illustrate how typical attitudes towards vaccines differ depending on a range of factors, such as age, income, lifestyle, and values.

SegmentBreakdownAge SkewGender SkewIncomeVaccine Concerns
Vaccine Supporter66%18-34NoneHigh incomePotential side-effects, availability, and logistics of vaccine distribution.
Vaccines Hesitant12%38-56FemaleLow/Middle incomePotential side-effects specifically due to no long-term testing, cost of vaccine, and more transparency around science required.
Vaccine Obligated11%16-24MaleLow incomePotential side-effects, not sure COVID-19 vaccine is necessary to combat the virus.
Vaccine Skeptical11%45-64FemaleLow incomePotential side-effects, don’t believe vaccines can curtail the pandemic.
Anti-vaxxer1.4% (13% of the Vaccine Skeptical segment)16-24, 55-64MaleLow incomePotential side-effects, don’t believe vaccines in general are safe.

Countries surveyed: United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Brazil, China, India, Japan, and Italy.

Which segment are you most likely to fall under, according to these segments?

Vaccine Supporters

[People who say they will get the COVID-19 vaccine.]

Out of all participants surveyed, 66% of them support the idea of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Within this group, there is a skew towards younger people (aged 18-34) who are likely working professionals earning a high income and living in a city.

Despite their optimism towards COVID-19 vaccines, however, one-third of vaccine supporters say they will wait to get one, due to lingering concerns regarding issues with vaccine distribution and any potential side-effects.

Interestingly, this procrastination mindset has been seen before during the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic when both members of the general public and healthcare workers showed low levels of vaccine acceptance due to safety concerns.

Vaccine Hesitant

[People who are not sure if they will get the COVID-19 vaccine.]

The vaccine hesitant group, which is more common among cautious suburban parents, makes up 12% of the total study. They are more likely to be female, and feel anxious about the length of time spent testing vaccines and therefore require more transparency around the science.

With that being said, this group could be easily swayed, as they are more receptive to word-of-mouth and messaging boards to get advice from their peers over any other medium.

Vaccine Obligated

[People who will only get the vaccine if it’s necessary for travel, school, work etc.]

The vaccine obligated group makes up 11% of the total, and has a skew towards males aged between 16 and 24 years old.

While this group is also concerned with potential side-effects, their responses suggesting that a vaccine may not be necessary to combat COVID-19 was above average compared to other segments in the study. They also index above average when it comes to viewing themselves as traditionalists.

Vaccine Skeptical

[People who won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine.]

The vaccine skeptical group makes up another 11% of the total. However, this group is mostly female, who are aged between 45-64 and earn a lower-than-average income. They are less likely to have a college degree, and are more likely to live in a rural area.

Along with the worry of potential side-effects, this group is generally more pessimistic about containing COVID-19 at all. Therefore a small percentage do not believe a vaccine will help tackle the global health crisis.

With notably low trust levels, this group is one of the hardest to reach and potentially persuade. What makes them unique however, is their lack of faith in the scientific process.

Anti-Vaxxers

[People who will not get the vaccine, because they are against vaccines in general.]

It is important to note that those who choose not to get a COVID-19 vaccine should not be confused with anti-vaxxers.

Anti-vaxxers are a sub-segment of the vaccine skeptical group that makes up 1.4% of the total population. The difference is, anti-vaxxers do not believe in getting any vaccine due to safety concerns, not just not a vaccine for COVID-19.

According to the study, anti-vaxxers tend to fall into one of two age brackets, between 16-24 years or 55-64 years old, and are typically males with lower incomes.

Another Tool in the Arsenal Against COVID-19

The study demonstrates that broad segments of society—regardless of their demographic or views—are at least somewhat concerned about COVID-19 vaccines becoming widely available.

While scientists are not quite sure if the current vaccines on the market can stop infection or transmission of the virus, they are an important part of our global defenses against COVID-19, along with other safety restrictions like wearing masks and keeping a distance.

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Science

Visualizing the Relationship Between Cancer and Lifespan

New research links mutation rates and lifespan. We visualize the data supporting this new framework for understanding cancer.

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Cancer and lifespan

A Newfound Link Between Cancer and Aging?

A new study in 2022 reveals a thought-provoking relationship between how long animals live and how quickly their genetic codes mutate.

Cancer is a product of time and mutations, and so researchers investigated its onset and impact within 16 unique mammals. A new perspective on DNA mutation broadens our understanding of aging and cancer development—and how we might be able to control it.

Mutations, Aging, and Cancer: A Primer

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells. It is not a pathogen that infects the body, but a normal body process gone wrong.

Cells divide and multiply in our bodies all the time. Sometimes, during DNA replication, tiny mistakes (called mutations) appear randomly within the genetic code. Our bodies have mechanisms to correct these errors, and for much of our youth we remain strong and healthy as a result of these corrective measures.

However, these protections weaken as we age. Developing cancer becomes more likely as mutations slip past our defenses and continue to multiply. The longer we live, the more mutations we carry, and the likelihood of them manifesting into cancer increases.

A Biological Conundrum

Since mutations can occur randomly, biologists expect larger lifeforms (those with more cells) to have greater chances of developing cancer than smaller lifeforms.

Strangely, no association exists.

It is one of biology’s biggest mysteries as to why massive creatures like whales or elephants rarely seem to experience cancer. This is called Peto’s Paradox. Even stranger: some smaller creatures, like the naked mole rat, are completely resistant to cancer.

This phenomenon motivates researchers to look into the genetics of naked mole rats and whales. And while we’ve discovered that special genetic bonuses (like extra tumor-suppressing genes) benefit these creatures, a pattern for cancer rates across all other species is still poorly understood.

Cancer May Be Closely Associated with Lifespan

Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute report the first study to look at how mutation rates compare with animal lifespans.

Mutation rates are simply the speed at which species beget mutations. Mammals with shorter lifespans have average mutation rates that are very fast. A mouse undergoes nearly 800 mutations in each of its four short years on Earth. Mammals with longer lifespans have average mutation rates that are much slower. In humans (average lifespan of roughly 84 years), it comes to fewer than 50 mutations per year.

The study also compares the number of mutations at time of death with other traits, like body mass and lifespan. For example, a giraffe has roughly 40,000 times more cells than a mouse. Or a human lives 90 times longer than a mouse. What surprised researchers was that the number of mutations at time of death differed only by a factor of three.

Such small differentiation suggests there may be a total number of mutations a species can collect before it dies. Since the mammals reached this number at different speeds, finding ways to control the rate of mutations may help stall cancer development, set back aging, and prolong life.

The Future of Cancer Research

The findings in this study ignite new questions for understanding cancer.

Confirming that mutation rate and lifespan are strongly correlated needs comparison to lifeforms beyond mammals, like fishes, birds, and even plants.

It will also be necessary to understand what factors control mutation rates. The answer to this likely lies within the complexities of DNA. Geneticists and oncologists are continuing to investigate genetic curiosities like tumor-suppressing genes and how they might impact mutation rates.

Aging is likely to be a confluence of many issues, like epigenetic changes or telomere shortening, but if mutations are involved then there may be hopes of slowing genetic damage—or even reversing it.

While just a first step, linking mutation rates to lifespan is a reframing of our understanding of cancer development, and it may open doors to new strategies and therapies for treating cancer or taming the number of health-related concerns that come with aging.

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Misc

Explainer: What to Know About Monkeypox

What is monkeypox, and what risk does it pose to the public? This infographic breaks down the symptoms, transmission, and more.

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Explainer: What to Know About Monkeypox

The COVID-19 pandemic is still fresh in the minds of the people around the world, so it comes as no surprise that recent outbreaks of another virus are grabbing headlines.

Monkeypox outbreaks have now been reported in multiple countries, and it has scientists paying close attention. For everyone else, numerous questions come to the surface:

  • How serious is this virus?
  • How contagious is it?
  • Could monkeypox develop into a new pandemic?

Below, we answer these questions and more.

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a virus in the Orthopoxvirus genus which also includes the variola virus (which causes smallpox) and the cowpox virus. The primary symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a distinctive bumpy rash.

There are two major strains of the virus that pose very different risks:

  • Congo Basin strain: 1 in 10 people infected with this strain have died
  • West African strain: Approximately 1 in 100 people infected with this strain died

At the moment, health authorities in the UK have indicated they’re seeing the milder strain in patients there.

Where did Monkeypox Originate From?

The virus was originally discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in monkeys kept for research purposes (hence the name). Eventually, the virus made the jump to humans more than a decade after its discovery in 1958.

It is widely assumed that vaccination against another similar virus, smallpox, helped keep monkeypox outbreaks from occurring in human populations. Ironically, the successful eradication of smallpox, and eventual winding down of that vaccine program, has opened the door to a new viral threat. There is now a growing population of people who no longer have immunity against the virus.

Now that travel restrictions are lifting in many parts of the world, viruses are now able to hop between nations again. As of the publishing of this article, a handful of cases have now been reported in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and a number of European countries.

On the upside, contact tracing has helped authorities piece together the transmission of the virus. While cases are rare in Europe and North America, it is considered endemic in parts of West Africa. For example, the World Health Organization reports that Nigeria has experienced over 550 reported monkeypox cases from 2017 to today. The current UK outbreak originated from an individual who returned from a trip to Nigeria.

Could Monkeypox become a new pandemic?

Monkeypox, which primarily spreads through animal-to-human interaction, is not known to spread easily between humans. Most individuals infected with monkeypox pass the virus to between zero and one person, so outbreaks typically fizzle out. For this reason, the fact that outbreaks are occurring in several countries simultaneously is concerning for health authorities and organizations that monitor viral transmission. Experts are entertaining the possibility that the virus’ rate of transmission has increased.

Images of people covered in monkeypox lesions are shocking, and people are understandably concerned by this virus, but the good news is that members of the general public have little to fear at this stage.

I think the risk to the general public at this point, from the information we have, is very, very low.
–Tom Inglesby, Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

» For up-to-date information on monkeypox cases, check out Global.Health’s tracking spreadsheet

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