The survey commissioned by Public Health Wales also revealed a perception of a low risk of serious illness from COVID-19 among young adults
More than two-thirds of adults in Wales (70%) would accept a flu and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time this year, according to a survey commissioned by Public Health Wales, with 89% of responders also happy to accept a COVID-19 booster, if offered.
The surey also found that more than two-thirds of responders (73%) regard health professionals as a reliable source of information about the COVID-19 vaccine, followed by Public Health Wales at 71%.
Anne McGowan, Nurse Consultant for Health Protection at Public Health Wales, said: ‘Vaccination is one of the most effective ways of protecting ourselves from serious disease, so it’s really encouraging to see that so many people understand this and are willing to accept both COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, and flu vaccines this year. This will be critical for protecting the people of Wales from serious illness and hospitalisation over the winter months and beyond.’
However, the survey also revealed that the perception of risk from COVID-19 is still low among young people (18–34-year-olds), with 62% disagreeing they are at high risk of catching COVID-19 compared with others, and 28% disagreeing they can get seriously ill if they catch COVID-19.
Anne McGowan continued: ‘With increasing numbers of young people testing positive for coronavirus, it is of concern that so many still believe that their risk of catching or becoming seriously ill with coronavirus is low when we know this not to be the case. While the younger a person is the lower their overall risk from coronavirus, young adults can still get long COVID […] We would strongly urge anyone, whatever the age, if offered the COVID-19 vaccine, to accept it. This way we can limit the spread of the virus and protect the population. The more people who are vaccinated, the better equipped we are to deal with the virus.’
Wales is currently on COVID-19 alert level 0, and observing the following measures:
- removal of legal restrictions on the number of people who can meet indoors, including in private homes, public places, or at events
- all businesses and premises can open, including nightclubs
- people should still work from home wherever possible
- face coverings remain a legal requirement indoors, with the exception of hospitality premises. This will be kept under review
- fully vaccinated adults, people under 18 years of age, and vaccine trial participants will not need to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
Public Health Wales is commissioning a survey with YouGov every 2 months, where at least 1000 people will be interviewed to understand the Welsh public’s feelings about vaccines, specifically COVID-19 and flu vaccines. For this fourth report, the questions ran on the YouGov Wales Omnibus between 29 July and 2 August.