Saturday, June 19, 2021

in-focus

Almost 1 in 5 Thais say no to jab


Almost 1 in 5 Thais do not want to be vaccinated against Covid-19, according to a recent public opinion poll.

In a blow to the mass vaccination programme that launched this week, 19.3 per cent of respondents in a nationwide survey by the National Statistical Office (NSO) said they did not want the jab.

The opinion poll surveyed 46,600 people aged 18 and above in provinces across the country from May 17-22.

The survey found that 75.2 per cent of people would like to be vaccinated. Of these, 47.7 per cent were ready to get the jab now, 27.5 per cent said they would get it later, and 5.5 per cent had already been vaccinated.

Of the 19.3 per cent that did not want to be vaccinated, 16.4 per cent cited fear of side effects while 4.9 per cent said they were not convinced that the vaccine could prevent the disease. Another 4.6 per cent cited physical limitations such as disability, congenital disease or pregnancy, 3.6 per cent said they were able to protect themselves, and 3.2 per cent said they did not have enough information to decide on getting vaccinated.

Of those who want to be vaccinated, more than half (54.6 per cent) preferred a jab provided by the government, while 12.5 per cent opted for the Pfizer brand, 3 per cent for Moderna, 2.5 per cent for the Johnson & Johnson shot, and 0.9 per cent for Novavax.

The willingness to get vaccinated rose above 70 per cent in only six provinces: Phuket (80.2%), Trang (80%), Ranong (78.8%), Buri Ram (73.3%), Chonburi (71.8%) and Nonthaburi (71.2). The government is aiming to fully vaccinate 70 per cent of people in the country to achieve herd immunity before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, doubt about the vaccines’ quality was higher than 70 per cent in Kalasin (80.5%), Pattani (78.5%), Narathiwat (74%), Chiang Mai (72.2%), Khon Kaen (71.3%) and Satun (70.4%).

Those aged 18-29 were more likely to refuse vaccination than those aged over 30. In terms of occupation, students and the unemployed were most likely to say they did not want to be vaccinated or were not ready.

Only 45.3 per cent of respondents were confident about the quality of vaccines provided by the government. The other 54.7 per cent were not convinced, citing fear of side effects (41.3 per cent), belief that government-provided vaccines are not as effective as alternative vaccines (7 per cent), and conflicting information on vaccine efficiency (5.7 per cent).

Many respondents said the government should build confidence in vaccination and curb confusing information by having experts explain the benefits (48.3 per cent), screening information and blocking false news in the media or social media quickly (20.4 per cent), and allowing only the agencies responsible to provide information (18.8 per cent).

Meanwhile 90.5 per cent of respondents reported their lives had been impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak. The biggest problem was insufficient income to meet expenses (49.3 per cent). Asked what they needed most from the government, 67.8 per cent said help with living expenses.

Deputy government spokesperson Traisulee Traisoranakul said the Cabinet acknowledged the results of the survey at its meeting on Tuesday.

Published : June 08, 2021

By : The Nation