According to data from a nationally representative survey among the population aged 15+ in our country, conducted by LOGO Research by direct personal face-to-face interview methodology in the period from 1.08.2021 to 20.08.2021, 22.8% of the respondents state that they have completed vaccination cycle against COVID-19. In the highest age group of the population – over 65 years – this percentage is 29.2%, while in the youngest group less than 10% are vaccinated.
The fact that the smallest relative share of vaccinated people is in the villages – only 17.2%, – is indicative, and this percentage gets higher with the increase of the settlement, to the highest percentage of vaccinated people in the capital – 34.8%.
Exactly one quarter of the respondents (24.9%) express their belief in the safety of vaccinations, over one third (35.9%) express the opposite opinion, and the largest group (39.2%) do not have a clear opinion.
A good tool for evaluating the benefits of a product or service is the tendency to recommend it to relatives or friends. The group of the biggest promoters (with a score between 8 and 10) is close in size to the group of people with vaccination – 23.6%. 37.6% of the respondents have the opposite opinion with extreme disapproval of the vaccines (grades from 1 to 3). Again, the middle group (with a score of 5 out of 10) fits 23.9% of the respondents.
The main reasons for the expressed disapproval of vaccines are, first of all, the lack of trust, the lack of sufficient information about the benefits, the too fast time for their development, the presence of side effects, as well as the existence of various conspiracy theories.
The most distinctive feature of the hard opponents of vaccination is that they are basically unemployed, confirming the axiom that idleness always gives rise to restless thoughts.
At the other side, people who are willing to recommend vaccination point as the strongest arguments that it is the only solution to prevent COVID-19, their trust and belief in efficacy, the care for others, and understanding the vaccine as the best way to protect.
As the first day of school approaches, the issue of vaccinating adolescents is becoming more and more relevant.
The European Health Agency has published a recommendation on the criteria that health authorities should follow when deciding how to vaccinate children. According to them, children would have fewer direct benefits from vaccination because of the generally easier course of the disease, although their vaccination may increase the general immunity of the population and reduce the spread of the virus.
Vaccination of children and young people is approved by only 14%, while 60% oppose such a measure. The approval is significantly lower for people without, or with primary education (10.4%), and higher for people with higher education (18.2%). However, this difference is not so much due to the negative sentiment against vaccination but to the expressed position that its benefits are still not known.
The lack of a definite position on the perception of vaccination in general, as well as in particular on the vaccination of children and young people, is an opportunity to influence and change the opinion from one to the opposite extreme.
The direction in the formation of the opinion depends on the communication environment that the media builds, the targeting policies for explanatory campaigns, as well as the personal and shared experience.
According to EU health experts, it is better for national campaigns to first complete the vaccination of the more at-risk groups of adults, before focusing on minors.
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