BRUSSELS — With the first coronavirus vaccinations due to begin in Belgium on Monday, national health authorities say that 60% of people want to be inoculated as soon as the shots become available.
A survey of 30,000 people by the Sciensano public health and research institute released Wednesday shows that one in four respondents are still unsure, and that 15% don’t want to be vaccinated.
Those in favor mostly say it’s because they want to return to their normal lives as soon as possible, while those against or unsure tend to be worried about the lack of certainty about long-term side effects.
Belgium plans to begin its vaccination campaign in five rest homes on Monday. The survey found that 90% of respondents say front-line health care workers should get the shot first, followed by people who already have health problems and those aged over 65.
Belgium, with a population of 11.5 million people, has been among the countries hardest hit per capita in Europe. Almost 630,000 people have been infected, and over 18,800 have died. The infection rate has stabilized recently, although around 90 people are still dying from the virus each day.