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We analyze COVID-19 vaccine acceptance across 15 survey samples covering ten low- and middle income countries (LMICs) in Asia, Africa, and South America, Russia (an upper-middle-income country), and the United States, using survey responses from 44,260 individuals. We find considerably higher willingness to take a COVID-19 vaccine in LMIC samples (80% on average) compared to the United States (65%) and Russia (30%). Vaccine acceptance was primarily explained by an interest in personal protection against COVID-19, while concern about side effects was the most commonly expressed reason for reluctance. Health workers were the most trusted sources of information about COVID-19 vaccines. Our findings suggest that prioritizing vaccine distribution to LMICs should yield high returns in promoting global immunization coverage, and that vaccination campaigns in these countries should focus on translating acceptance into uptake. Messaging highlighting vaccine efficacy and safety, delivered by healthcare workers, may be most effective in addressing remaining hesitancy.

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