Brussels, May 16 | More than a quarter of adults (27 per cent) in the European Union (EU) are “very unlikely” to get themselves vaccinated against Covid-19, according to a large survey of 47,000 people, media reports said.
The survey by Eurofound, an EU agency, conducted between February and March, showed that vaccine hesitancy was more in females (29 per cent) than men (25 per cent), the Euronews reported. Young adults between the ages of 35 and 49 were slightly more sceptical about the vaccines than their younger or older peers. The reluctance to the Covid jabs was found most in Bulgaria, where 61 per cent stated they are very or rather unlikely to get the vaccine. The country is followed by Latvia and Croatia which both have rates of over 40 per cent, the report said.
More than a third of respondents in France and Austria declared they were unlikely to get inoculated.
On the other hand, people in Denmark, Malta and Ireland were least hesitant. Less than 10 per cent respondents in these regions indicated they were very unlikely or rather unlikely to take it.
Further, the report also found a correlation between vaccine hesitancy and social media use. Forty per cent of people who said they use social media as their primary source of news are hesitant about the vaccines, while only 18 per cent of those who use traditional news sources as their main source of information are. Trust in the government, unemployment, long-term illness, or disability also played a role in increasing the hesitancy, the report said.
“Vaccines play a crucial role in overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, these findings reflect a failure to deliver persuasive ad clear communication regarding the efficacy and safety of vaccines,” Daphne Ahrendt, Eurofound senior research manager, said in a statement.
“Trust in vaccines is related to trust in institutions, and this is an issue primarily for policymakers, but we also have a collective responsibility, across society, to ensure that we communicate and publish accurate and sound information on the safety and importance of vaccines,” she added.
The EU aims to vaccinate 70 per cent of its adult population by the end of July.