Bratislava, August 16 (TASR) – Over 66 percent of Slovaks are in favour of vaccination, with 11 percent considering it and one in five people rejecting inoculation against COVID-19, according to an AKO poll on vaccination and anti-pandemic measures ordered by the co-governing Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party and presented by parliamentary health committee chair Jana Bitto Ciganikova (SaS) at a news conference on Monday.
The survey was carried out on a sample of 1,000 respondents between July 21 and 26.
The survey also showed that women are more likely to be vaccinated than men and that people with university education support vaccination the most.
The survey also focused on the reasons for rejecting vaccination. According to Bitto Ciganikova, people are mainly worried that the vaccines were developed quickly, and they are concerned about side effects. Some think that they are healthy and don’t need a vaccine, while others mentioned health problems that have prevented them from being vaccinated. “These concerns indicate that a lack of information is a major problem. It seems that many people don’t know that vaccines have been developed over a long period, and that there’s no risk of long-term effects from the vaccine, as the vaccine is eliminated from the body shortly after it’s administered; it only activates the immune system,” said Bitto Ciganikova.
According to her, awareness could be increased, for example, by discussions in the media involving experts and doctors. She also suggested setting up kiosks at vaccination centres staffed by experts.
If there are many non-vaccinated people, hospitals will probably have problems again, stated Bitto Ciganikova. If hospitals are filled with many non-vaccinated people all at once, no health-care system can be ready for that, she added. According to her, Health Minister Vladimir Lengvarsky (an OLaNO nominee) is taking the right steps in trying to increase the vaccination rate via GPs and mobile vaccination units.
Bitto Ciganikova thinks that it’s time to talk about inoculation with a third vaccine dose. She expects experts to present their opinions in this regard. She noted that the elderly were the first to be vaccinated in Slovakia. “It would be ideal to consider inoculation with a third vaccine dose before the Pope’s visit to Slovakia [in September],” she said.