Why are many Poles reluctant to be vaccinated?

-The number of staunch opponents of COVID-19 vaccination is unchanged at about 27-30% and is likely to remain so. Even the fourth wave of the epidemic is unlikely to encourage any of these respondents to change their minds - says Wojciech Feleszko, MD, PhD, from the Department of Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy at the UCC MUW, commenting on the results of the survey "Who and why does not want to be vaccinated for COVID-19" conducted by the MUW and ARC Market and Opinion.

The survey found that one-third of Poles between the ages of 18 and 65 do not intend to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The main reasons for not vaccinating indicated by respondents were: no need to vaccinate (22% of respondents), lack of trust and negative attitudes towards vaccination (20%), and lack of vaccine efficacy and fear of side effects (17%).

Declared opponents of vaccination are mostly women (37% to 27% of men), those with primary/ vocational education (41%), and those between 25 and 34 years of age (41%). The percentage of people aged 35 to 44 (37%) and 18 to 24 (36%) is also high. By far the fewest opponents are found among respondents between the ages of 45 and 65 (23%) and those with higher education (24%).

- The results of this survey are not very optimistic. They show that the possibility of reaching the threshold of collective immunity is not possible with such a large group of people who declare that they will not be vaccinated. This is a group of almost 30% of the most mobile people, i.e. up to the age of 65. This is a problem faced not only by Poland, but also by many other countries - says Adam Czarnecki, PhD, from ARC Market and Opinion.
Wojciech Feleszko, MD, PhD,  points to another important conclusion of the study: the existence of a group of people (about 15%) who, under certain conditions, are willing to change their opinion on vaccination. These are: proven efficacy of the vaccine (28% of respondents), receiving money/rewards (24%) or coercion/regulations (24%).
-It seems that especially the argument about the effectiveness of vaccination could be used in a reliable information campaign based on facts, that is, showing hard scientific data proclaimed by the experts, and not as before - celebrities. Such roles could be played by recognizable scientific authorities (such as the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Dr. Paweł Grzesiowski or Professor Krzysztof Simon) - indicates the expert of the MUW.

The report has been prepared on the basis of a survey conducted by ARC Market and Opinion using the CAWI method (online surveys carried out on ePanel.pl) on a sample of Poles aged 18-65 years N=1016, representative in terms of gender, age, size of the place of residence, education and GUS region.