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Editorial

They Refuse to Be Vaccinated

I was surprised, during my recent visit to Greece, how many young people refuse to be vaccinated. This phenomenon – it is a phenomenon – is certainly not exclusively Greek.

Something similar is happening in America and I suspect all over the world.

I expected, however, that the young people of Greece, after so much effort made by the Greek government and with the tourist season now in full swing, would approach the issue much more rationally.

I made several attempts to talk to them, to understand their reasoning.

I confess that I am worried by their answers. I heard from them all the conspiracy theories circulating from various politicians and especially on the internet. Worst of all, I am worried about the certainty with which they believe them. That’s not a good sign.

The question is, how can this be reversed?

It’s possible, but it will be difficult. That is because vaccine refusal has become a fad … they think they are coming off like tough guys.

They consider themselves invisible to the virus – if they even believe COVID is real.

One would expect the opposite to be happening. That young people would be the nucleus that would lead the older generations to be vaccinated, those who don’t know as much about science.

One would expect young people, who are able to access even more authoritative foreign media, to think differently.

This week, the Greek government presented a plan of financial incentives to try to persuade young people to be vaccinated.

It offers a prepaid card with a value of 150 euros to young people aged 18-25 who are vaccinated.

I hope they do not see it as an attempt to bribe them…

Beyond that, it seems to me that the only ones who can influence young people are their peers, those who speak the same language and have the same mindset. Above all, they must be made to understand that by refusing to be vaccinated, they are not only going against science but they are endangering themselves and others – especially the older members of their families.

By that same token, they also endanger their country’s tourism, on which, to a large extent, its economy depends.

In the United States, 179.3 million people have been vaccinated. Of those, 153 million have received two doses. But last week there were 760,800 fewer vaccines given per day, down 32% from the previous week.

And that is worrying.

Almost a year ago we all wished and prayed that a drug or vaccine would soon be discovered that would save humanity from this pandemic.

Scientists performed their miracle. Within a year or so, we had the vaccines.

And while the studies and evidence shows that they are extremely effective, with almost no risk, the issue was nevertheless politicized from the beginning, resulting in a split in public opinion. We have gotten to the point where a ridiculous percentage of people are hurting themselves and endangering their health (and that of those around them) after having been carried away by some wild conspiracy theories.

Over time, I believe the vast majority of people will be vaccinated – but it is painful to see your people hurting themselves, victims of misinformation and a wrong mentality.

 

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