A poll was carried out just recently in the State of Israel that revealed that only 63% of the citizens are willing to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. In addition, only 24% are willing to attain the vaccine right away.
The poll, published on Friday, revealed that these numbers differ greatly for people above the age of 65. This was made evident by the fact that 82% of the people aged over 65 plan on receiving the vaccine whereas, only 50% of these were ready to obtain it immediately.
A survey was also conducted that displayed similar differences existing between the older and younger population of the country. This was also helpful in showcasing the attitudes of Israeli towards the vaccine. It was interpreted that survey respondents who are older in age were more open to the idea of getting vaccinated.
One possible explanation given for a comparatively low number of Israelis willing to get vaccinated right away was the opinion of the public regarding the safety of the vaccine. It was revealed that almost 23% of the citizens are unsure whether the vaccine is safe or not. 17% of the respondents think that the vaccine may not be safe whereas, 6% stated that they are sure that the vaccine will not be good for their health.
Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) have said that the coverage rate of the vaccine may lie somewhere around 65% to 70%. They believe that this is imperative to reach population immunity by administering the vaccinations. Recent polls conducted have revealed that Israel falls well below this mark.
Last week, another poll was conducted, which revealed that 37% of the respondents straight away refused to get vaccinated either now, or later. From another survey, it was observed that 16% of Arab-Israeli respondents and 20.3% of Israeli-Jewish participants would not waste a single second in getting vaccinated if they were presented with the opportunity.
The director of the international master’s program of Public Health at the University of Haifa, Prof. Manfred Green, expressed happiness at the fact that the country is going to start vaccinating soon. He stated that he is very excited to have effective vaccines in the country, which will eventually put an end to the coronavirus pandemic. But, he pointed out that not all citizens of the country trust that the vaccine will help them in any way. He stated that there is much skepticism regarding the vaccine amongst women and Arabs.
A professor at the University of Edinburgh, Eleanor Riley, said that though the vaccine doses will be made available shortly, the society needs to come together and address this widespread issue of mistrust. She observed that the anticipated demand for the vaccine may be greater than the actual demand.
According to the professor, the idea behind the vaccine is to administer it to at least 98% of the population to ensure that the 2% are also protected.