Side Effects Fears, Religion Drive Greece’s Rabid Anti-Vaxxers

September 23, 2021

ATHENS – Greece's effort to get enough of the population inoculated against COVID-19 has stalled largely because of resisting anti-vaxxers, with a survey showing they are driven by fear of side effects, peer pressure and religious beliefs.

While some 40 percent cited side effects worries as the key reason they won't get the shots, more than half said they will “never” be vaccinated, as Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been reluctant to make it mandatory, except for health care workers so far.

Carried out by Pulse RC for SKAI TV, the survey also revealed that 19 percent were reacting against pressure to be vaccinated and 16 percent don't think the shots that are beating back the pandemic are safe or effective, which they are.

Some 72 percent though said while they are afraid that they've gotten one dose of two required shots of most versions – there's a single-shot version from the United States' company Johnson & Johnson.

Another 11 percent have no plans to book an appointment for shots and 15 percent refused to answer, while only 7 percent said they weren't worried about being infected and 5 percent said health reasons kept them from being inoculated.

There have been violent protests against the vaccination scheme called Eleftheria (Freedom) with opponents worrying shots will become required, and many parents have taken to suing teachers who are enforcing health measures in schools that require masks and staying safe social distances.


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