WATERLOO -- If and when a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, will everyone be willing to take it?

University of Waterloo professor Roderick Slavcev is currently develop a DNA-based vaccine and says everyone across the globe is working as hard as they can on this idea.

However, he’s issuing a warning about those who might be hesitant or refuse to be vaccinated.

“It’s not just an individual response,” said Slavcev. “It’s also one that requires a population response.”

He says that in order for the vaccine to effective, a vast majority of the population must be immunized.

“It’s currently believed somewhere in the area of 70 per cent [will need to be vaccinated],” said Slavcev.

This is in order for herd immunity to occur, which will protect those who cannot be vaccinated because of existing health concerns.

“It wouldn’t be surprising to see some hesitancy,” said UW psychology professor Derek Koehler. “We already know it exists for other vaccines as well.”

According to a recent Statistics Canada survey, the majority of Canadians say they will likely get a vaccine when it’s available, but around a one quarter say they’re unsure.

Most people surveyed say they have a lack of confident in a vaccine’s safety and are worried about potential risks and side effects.

The survey also found that 10 per cent say they do not believe in vaccines.

“Versus what might be the right up front risks of not taking it, which would be absolutely devastating,” said Slavcev.

All vaccines needing approval by a regulatory body before being made public.

Koehlor says misinformation on social media is contributing to vaccine hesitancy.