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NEW POLL: Brits see global approach as key to ending pandemic

Most people believe that Covid-19 pandemic requires an international approach and support fair global access to vaccines.

New Polling from the ONE Campaign shows that British public believe that an international plan to end the pandemic is key to the UK’s economic recovery, and that vaccines need to be distributed internationally in an equitable manner. Most Brits are also willing to wait until after health workers in other countries get vaccine first, if this helps to end pandemic faster.

Just days after a Covid-19 vaccine begins to be rolled-out, the polling shows that the British public understands that the pandemic won’t end just because the UK is protected but requires a global solution to put an end to it once and for all.

Commissioned by anti-poverty organisation The ONE Campaign, the poll asked the people about their views on the international aspect of the pandemic, such as how vaccines should be distributed internationally, and how our country’s fate is linked inextricably to that of other countries.

The research (1), conducted by polling company Savanta ComRes between December 4-9, revealed that of the British public:

  • Over 71% believe: “An effective plan to end the global COVID-19 pandemic internationally is key to the British economic recovery”
  • 73% think “It’s in Britain’s interests to help other countries fight the pandemic, as it will help our economy to support trading partners and show we are a reliable global partner.”
  •  77% agree that: “Making sure vaccines are internationally distributed in an equitable manner is the best way to end the pandemic.”
  • 75% support “Now vaccines are being discovered and will soon be available, they should be accessible and affordable in all countries, rich and poor, at the same time.”
  • 65% are concerned that “The UK’s global reputation may be harmed if we only think about ourselves in the pandemic.”

Romilly Greenhill, UK Director of ONE, said:People in the UK clearly understand that this global challenge needs a global response, and appreciate that nobody is safe until everybody is safe.”

The polling builds on previous research ONE conducted earlier in the year that showed the public reject ‘vaccine nationalism’ – the idea that some countries should monopolise access to vaccines – with the majority of the UK public continuing to support fair access to vaccines:

  • Over 70% agree “It’s not right for countries to hoard vaccine doses, as it’s selfish and means the pandemic will last longer.”
  •  73% think “The pandemic will still present a risk to the UK if only some countries get the vaccine and others do not”
  • 78% believe “The UK should ‘play fair’ when agreeing deals to buy a vaccine, making sure they are transparent and proportionate to the UK’s need.”
  • 56% think “Vaccine nationalism will hurt the British economy. If Britain hordes more vaccines than it needs it will hurt the British economy by damaging our ability to trade and travel with other countries”
  • 62% of people agree with the statement: “If it helped end the pandemic sooner, I would be happy for a health worker or vulnerable person in another country to get the vaccine before healthy people in my family.”

Romilly Greenhill continued: “It’s clear that the people of Britain reject vaccine nationalism. People understand that no country can go it alone, and that to end the pandemic anywhere we have to beat the virus everywhere – even if that means that some people at home have to wait a little longer for their own shot in the arm.”

As well as this national poll, ONE also canvassed the opinion of people in ‘Red Wall’ constituencies – those seats which have traditionally voted Labour but switched to back Conservative in the last election – which found that a significant majority of people also supported the need for a global response to the pandemic and fair access to vaccines – with support in some areas even greater than the national average.