A majority of 54 percent of people in Austria who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will “probably” or “definitely” get a booster in the future. Approval is highest among those who have already been vaccinated four times, according to a survey commissioned by the ÖVIH.
However, 17 percent of those vaccinated “definitely” do not want to get a booster. The president of the Association of Vaccine Manufacturers (ÖVIH), President Renée Gallo-Daniel, believes that “a broad awareness campaign” before the fall would be helpful.
Nine percent of vaccinated Austrians are still undecided about whether they want to be vaccinated again. Twenty-one percent “probably do not” want to get a booster. Just under a quarter of those who have been vaccinated but are sure or unlikely to have a booster vaccination think that it is no longer necessary (Corona is over or no longer dangerous) or point to what they see as too severe side effects and vaccination reactions. “There has never been as much vaccination uptake worldwide as there has been with Covid vaccines,” which are also “very well documented,” Gallo-Daniel countered.
41 percent of respondents self-reported three times vaccinated
Two percent of the 1,000 people aged 16 to 75 surveyed by market research firm Integral said they had been vaccinated once, 12 percent twice, 41 percent three times, and 29 percent four times. Thus, according to the survey, 84 percent of this age group have been vaccinated at least once.
Sixty-eight percent of all those surveyed online in January and February agreed “very much” or “somewhat” with the statement that the Corona vaccination protects against severe courses of disease, which scientific studies have also proved. Sixty-four percent consider it “very” or “somewhat” important, and 59 percent think it is safe. The ÖVIH president located a more positive attitude toward vaccinations in general and the Covid vaccination “than we had assumed.” In addition to the survey on the Corona vaccines, the overall evaluation of vaccinations was also questioned. Here there were higher values: eight out of ten consider vaccinations to be “important” and “effective,” as well seven out of ten for “safe,” and only five percent for “not important” at all.
“From our point of view, a good result.“
“This is a good result from our point of view,” Gallo-Daniel said in an interview with APA during the European Immunization Week (April 23-29, 2023). But: “That doesn’t mean by any means that they will go (for vaccination, note),” the industry representative emphasized. According to the report, a total of 38 percent “definitely don’t” or “probably won’t” get a booster against Covid-19. “I think this is going to become more of an issue as we move into the fall,” Gallo-Daniel said. “So it’s important to be prepared for the fall. That requires a specific vaccination recommendation, low-threshold access to vaccination and education.” The public health agency ECDC had also recently advised EU countries to covid vaccination campaigns for the coming fall, especially for older people and other at-risk groups.
To date, only the first booster (“fourth vaccination”) is generally recommended by the National Immunization Panel (NIG) after the three-part primary immunization, starting at age 12, preferably with the specially licensed vaccines targeting the omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2. Following the expected adaptation by the NIG before the fall, an education campaign is needed on exactly who should get a booster and when and where the vaccination will be administered, Gallo-Daniel explained. Physicians also would wait for the official NIG recommendation.
General practitioners surveyed about vaccinations
In addition to the general population sample, the Integral survey also asked 102 general practitioners about vaccinations in general and Covid vaccines. Here, as expected, an agreement was higher, with 98 percent of physicians considering vaccinations generally effective, 94 percent important, and 89 percent safe (agree “completely” and “somewhat”). There was also less of a drop-off in the covid vaccine questions scores than in the general population. Corona vaccines “protect against severe disease progression” were affirmed by 90 percent of physicians. In addition, experts view it as “important” (88 percent) and “safe” (85 percent). Eighty-three percent will “very likely” or “somewhat likely” recommend vaccination to their patients. The physicians also cited protection against severe disease courses as the main reason.
- source: vienna.at/picture: pixabay.com
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