Dutch gov’t waited too long to address Covid vaccine refusers: former minister
At the start of the coronavirus vaccination campaign, the government paid too little attention to reaching people who had doubts or felt averse to getting the jab. This said former minister Jet Bussemaker, now professor of Science Policy and Social Impact at the LUMC, to the Volkskrant. According to the newspaper, she studied this together with Erasmus University and The Hague University of Applied Sciences.
"Such a massive campaign was a logical choice, but at that time the government hardly concerned itself with groups that are difficult to reach or need extra information and support. Parallel to the large-scale campaign, people should also have gone directly to the neighborhoods with understandable information for everyone. That could have made a real difference," said Bussemaker to the newspaper.
Too little was done with the knowledge the government already had about difficult groups, said the professor in the article. "Our research shows that it mainly concerns people from underprivileged neighborhoods, with a low social status and sometimes a language deficiency, who are suspicious of the government and institutions like the RIVM." According to her, we have to be careful that "people with social problems or, for example, a lower education do not get sick."
According to her, too little attention was paid to real people who refused to get the vaccine. According to their professor, their "other truth" does not have to be embraced, but "we must understand what is going on to combat mistrust."
Reporting by ANP