ATHENS – While some 85 percent of Greeks are fearful of the lingering deadly COVID-19 pandemic, 70 percent are especially worry they will be infected and come ill – but anti-vaxxers aren’t being swayed.
A survey conducted for the Athens Medical Association found that the numbers of the anxious are rising since the last poll in July when 46 percent were afraid of becoming ill, said Kathimerini.
The increase coincided with a fourth wave of the Coronavirus in the autumn that brought record numbers of cases, hospitalizations, people on ventilators in public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and deaths.
That was enough to convince skeptics, but not anti-vaxxers, to be vaccinated as those still holding out don’t think the shots are safe or effective or that they are part of an international conspiracy to alter their DNA and control their minds.
Vaccines are considered safe by 76 percent of respondents, up from 63 percent in July, with 78 percent saying they have gotten the first of two shots required to be protected – not counting third booster shots now being given.
But 20 percent said they plan to be vaccinated at some point but the rest not, showing how deeply held the anti-vaxxer or skeptical beliefs are despite the evidence how deadly the disease is.
Nearly half the resisters said the vaccines don’t work about 25 percent said they think they will develop natural immunity or are afraid of vacccine side effects that are far less serious than contracting the disease.
Some 44 percent said the New Democracy government’s health restrictions weren’t severe enough, 31 percent said they and 19 percent said they were too tough on society.
The survey was conducted from Dec. 2-26 on a sample of 1,000 respondents aged 17 and over, the report added.