About 55% of unvaccinated Belgians say they do not want the vaccine and nothing can convince them, according to a survey by Sciensano.
The survey by the health institute, the 9th already, took the pulse of the Belgian population in the midst of the 4th wave of Covid, at the end of last year. The first observations were delivered on Thursday.
At the time of the survey, 87% of the adult population (18 years and over) said they had been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Four out of five vaccinated adults said they would like to receive the booster dose. However, many vaccinated young adults were more hesitant about the 3rd dose. One in five young people in the 18-24 age group said they were uncertain about accepting the booster shot and nearly one in ten said they did not want a new injection.
General confidence in vaccines remains high, however, with 80% of respondents believing that vaccination is the best form of protection against the coronavirus.
71% of the population (completely) agree with the statement that people who do not want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 can pose a danger to the community.
Unvaccinated that nothing will convince
Of the unvaccinated people interviewed in the Sciensano survey, about 10% of the overall sample, more than half (55%) said that nothing could convince them to get vaccinated.
For the remaining 45%, the reasons for taking the plunge could be found in having additional information on the possible long-term consequences of the vaccine (31%), or in having more information on their effectiveness (13%). Other reasons could also convince some non-vaccinated people, for example the wish to be vaccinated with a classic protein-based vaccine.
The fine in the event of non-vaccination or conversely a reward after vaccination were not sufficient motivations: barely 1% of the respondents declared that this could have an influence on their decision.
The results of the survey also show a great distrust of the population vis-à-vis the vaccination policy of the authorities: 48% of the population (completely) agree with the statement that the decision-makers do not not tell us everything they know about vaccines.
Discomfort increases, respect for the rules decreases
During the survey in December, 21% of adults suffered from a depressive disorder and 24% from an anxiety disorder. These are the highest rates recorded since the start of health surveys related to the coronavirus.
Twenty-eight percent of adults also suffered from severe loneliness. A figure that corresponds to that recorded in March 2021, according to Sciensano.
The proportion of individuals dissatisfied with their life in general increased sharply at the end of the year, rising from 14% at the start of October to 34% at the end of December 2021. Young people aged 18 to 29 are the most likely to find their life unfulfilling (37%).
As for compliance with health rules, some have been abandoned. The percentage of people indicating that they are not strictly adhering to physical distancing and hygiene measures is twice as high as a year ago.
More than one in two respondents said they did not maintain a distance of at least 1.5 m from others (59%), did not limit their social contacts (55%) or did not ventilate indoor spaces (51 %).
A minority of people said they did not stay home when sick (16%) or did not wear a mouth mask in public places (14%).
Between December 13 and 23, 22,354 people took part in the Sciensano survey. With this survey, the health institute measures the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic within the population.
The survey, developed with LimeSurvey software, is aimed at adults (aged 18 and over) living in Belgium. Being an online survey, people without an internet connection are unfortunately excluded from participation.