Many latecomers to vaccination may be getting vaccinated for exactly the same reason that many early-birds did: they are (finally) more worried about COVID-19 than the needle.
When the researchers restricted their analysis to those people who were actually eligible for vaccination, they found that more than half of the previously hesitant had already received at least their first shot. A further 22 percent of that group reported themselves willing. In short, only three in ten study respondents who initially said they were either “very unlikely”, “unlikely” or “unsure” about getting immunized, remained resistant months later.
“Vaccine hesitancy is not a stable trait precluding vaccination, but, instead, is labile,” the study’s authors conclude. It’s a heartening finding and one which tallies with broader trends elsewhere. Polls reveal an average 24% decline in vaccine skepticism among young people (aged 18 to 34) across 15 countries between April and September 2021. While a May 2021 survey suggested that more than a quarter of EU adults would refuse a COVID-19 shot if offered one, in early October, 79.2% of adults in Europe have received at least one dose.
Even in the USA, with its strident anti-vax pundits and strikingly sluggish vaccination rate – just 56% of Americans are currently fully vaccinated, placing America 38th in an international inoculation league table, polling of nationally-representative sample groups reveals what the experts termed “the slow and steady decline of the vaccine sceptics.”
In Canada we are till only at 72.2% of population fully vaccinated. If we think about it, a 27.8% non-vaccinated population means that there is till a latent danger that the virus could affect the entire nation once again -perhaps not lethally, but in a manner that the whole health system could be put to the test again. Reports suggest that resentment of unvaccinated patients among healthcare workers is a last straw for many overtaxed hospital staff, leading to resignations. Anger at the unvaccinated – in no short supply online – is understandable.