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Despite Pandemic, Three in 10 Greeks Wary About COVID-19 Vaccine

December 11, 2020

ATHENS – Showing it would be a struggle to convince Greeks to get the first roll-off of the COVID-19 vaccine to contain the Coronavirus, a survey has found that 30 percent won't take it, worried about whether it's safe or would work.

The vaccine could be available in Greece early in 2021 and the first batches are slated to front-line health workers, nursing home patients and the most susceptible to the virus, the elderly and people with underlying or multiple health conditions.

That was the finding of a Pulse poll for SKAI TV which showed that three in 10 Greeks answered  “Definitely not or probably not” to the question of whether they would get vaccinated.

This is also the average based on other recent surveys (MRB 37.7%, Metron Analysis 41%, Interview 23.7%) said Kathimerini about the results, coming as political parties – apart from the nationalist Greek Solution – set asides differences to urge people to be vaccinated.

Pulse’s General Manager Giorgos Arapoglou told the paper that the “grey zone” of the undecided voters in polls before COVID-19 hit has seen more people anxious about the vaccine for the Coronavirus, although not for others long in use.

Recent data has shown that more than 40 percent  of those in the anti-vaccine movement have serious financial difficulties, while women appear more cautious than men although there’s a minority who think the pandemic is a hoax or being used to control them, just as they feel about the vaccine.

But even 20 percent of voters for the ruling New Democracy showed some anxiety, fewer in the center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) but with 34 percent of backers of the former ruling and now major opposition SYRIZA worried about it.

Some 51 percent between the ages of 17-29 said they would “definitely not or probably not” get the vaccine.

And despite a consensus among the parties, New Democracy is still sparring with SYRIZA, which had blamed the Conservatives for a second wave that had overtaken the country and brought a second lockdown.

New Democracy said SYRIZA was  “turning a blind eye to supporters of the anti-vaccination movement,” said Kathimerini, but they joined forces to condemn Greek Solution leader Kyriakos Velopoulos, who attacked scientists who said the vaccine is safe and effective.

The lawmakers denounced what they called his “unscientific and unacceptable rhetoric” calling him a “danger to society,” as he took the floor to denounce the vaccine and to assail Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

“He expects me to go and get vaccinated with him and to bear the cost, while I have reservations about choosing to die,” he said. “I will not make my father a guinea pig,” he said.

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