Vaccination intention in Romania far below the initial estimated levels, survey says

The vaccination intention of the Romanians is far beyond the initial expectations, says the latest survey conducted by MedLife nationwide during April 5-13, with the aim of estimating the number of people who are decided to take the jab.

More precisely, the current estimations point to just 5 million Romanians who will get vaccinated by the end of the year, which means a share of 27-31% of the total residents of Romania, who turned at least 16.

The study also shows that education is one of the main factors strongly influencing the vaccination intention, the higher the education level is, the higher the vaccination rate is.

The fear of immediate or long-term side effects generated by the anti-Covid vaccine is the main reason behind the Romanians’ denial to take the jab.

MedLife representatives have thus warned over the need for the national vaccination strategy to be immediately adjusted, urging on the main factors of the society to get involved and determine a number as higher of possible of Romanians to get vaccinated.

“Although the initial estimations that we’ll have over 10 millions vaccinated by the end of September, it seems that the Romanians’ vaccination intentions is far below these expectations. The issues will no longer be the lack of vaccines, considering that the number of available seats for vaccination has already exceeded the number of people on the waiting lists. If this perception does not change during  the month of June, Romania will have nobody to vaccinate anymore.

Therefore, the big challenge consists in educating, encouraging and persuading a larger number of people to get vaccinated. The joint effort of all main actors of the society will be needed: authorities, businessmen, the academic society, the Army, the Church, the civil society,” said Mihai Marcu, President and CEO MedLife Group.

He argued that only by increasing the number of vaccinated people will see the decline in the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections, will minimize the severe infections and the social and economic life will get back to normal.

Only 10-13% of the Romanian population has a firm intention to get  vaccinated in the upcoming period

The survey estimates a number of roughly 2 million people who have the firm intention to get vaccinated as soon as possible and not later than May. Another 3-4 percent consider the vaccine in 3-6 months, a year or even later than one year.

The highest vaccination rate is in the urban environment, with 33-38% of city dwellers who turned 16 saying they will take the jab by the end of the year. The intention is lower in the countryside (19-20%).

The share of people who have already get vaccinated is higher in the city areas, while only a quarter of the already vaccinated respondents live in the countryside.

Men, people over 50 and those who had medium or severe infections, more open to vaccination

The study also revealed that the more willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are men, the people in the 50-69 age category, who have an active lifestyle. At the same time, people who already had medium and severe infections are more open-minded to the vaccination idea.

At the opposite side, the most resisting people to vaccination are people under 40, with a lower education, and who haven’t gone through the Covid infection.

As for the geographic distribution, Bucharest-Ilfov regions are better represented among the segment of those who want to jabs, unlikely the North-East region, whose residents are more resentful towards vaccination.

According to the same study, only a third of Romania’s population, aged over 16 considers vaccination as very efficient. The rest of Romanians invoke the fear of medium and long-term side effects as the main reason behind the refuse to get vaccinated. The second argument is the mistrust fueled by contradictory information.

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