Religious, medical reasons rarely behind decision not to get Covid jab
Less than 1 percent of people who decided not to get vaccinated against Covid-19 did so for religious or concrete health reasons. Concerns over the vaccines being harmful to health or unknown side effects were much more common reasons to be an anti-vaxxer, according to researchers of the Lifelines Corona population study.
The Lifelines Corona study is an ongoing population study among over 23,000 residents of Noord-Nederland. The University Medical Center Groningen and the University of Groningen, among others, launched the survey at the start of the pandemic. 94 percent of participants are vaccinated.
Of those who have not been vaccinated, 10 percent said they are not concerned about the severity of a coronavirus infection. Nearly half (44 percent) think the vaccine is harmful to health. A quarter (23 percent) are afraid of unknown side effects. And 4 percent have doubts about the vaccines' effectiveness. Less than one percent of unvaccinated people surveyed have an allergy or won't get vaccinated for religious reasons.
Other reasons not to get vaccinated seem rooted in misunderstandings. One in six unvaccinated people is still waiting for an invitation to get the Covid-19 vaccine. That has not been necessary since June, but that is apparently not clear to everyone, the researchers said. Seven percent of unvaccinated people think that the jabs cost money, but the vaccination is free.
With good information, the government has an opportunity here to vaccinate a large group of people, the researchers said, because both the above-mentioned groups want to be vaccinated.
The study also shows that 22 percent of pregnant women are not vaccinated. That is concerning, as a coronavirus infection can be severe for pregnant women.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.