Mistrust of vaccines against Covid-19 continues to rise in Switzerland, according to a recently published survey.
A survey run in Switzerland at the end of October 2020, found that only 49% were prepared to take a Covid-19 vaccine, a percentage significantly lower than the 62% recorded in a similar survey in April 2020.
Of the other 51%, 25% said they would not take a vaccine for Covid-19 and 26% said they did not know whether they would. The biggest shift between April and October 2020 was in the percentage saying no to a Covid-19 vaccination. This percentage shifted from 16% to 25% while the percentage of don’t-knows shifted from 22% to 26%.
According to health sociologist Claudine Burton-Jeangros, it is important to distinguish between the small minority of committed anti-vaxxers and a larger group who are hesitant and have questions. We need recognised experts to be available to respond to these questions and concerns in a transparent and coherent manner, according to Burton-Jeangros.
Vaccine hesitancy is a big challenge according the the World Health Organisation (WHO). In 2019, the WHO listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the ten greatest threats to global health.
Vaccine specialist Alessandro Diana thinks vaccine hesitation is normal, even legitimate. Answering the questions people have is the best way to respond, he thinks. In addition, not only is SARS-CoV-2 a new virus but we are using new technologies and have moved fast. It makes sense that such novelty will trigger questions. We must welcome them, said the doctor, who recommends helping doctors to field vaccine questions from their patients.
The survey done by Sotomo In October 2020 was commissioned by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). 1,633 people were asked: would you get vaccinated against the new coronavirus if a vaccine were available?