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2021.01.04 17:00

One in four Lithuanians reluctant to get Covid-19 shots – study

LRT.lt2021.01.04 17:00

While 40 percent of Lithuanians plan to get vaccinated, 27 percent say they will not, according to a study by the Lithuanian Social Research Centre (LSTC). One in ten people also do not believe the pandemic is real.

The study looked into people's attitudes to the Covid-19 pandemic. In one survey, conducted in late November and early December, 40 percent said they intended to get vaccinated, while 27 percent said they did not plan to and 30 percent were undecided.

The hesitation reflects people's “anxieties related to the vaccine”, Inga Gaižauskaitė, a researcher at the LSTC, was quoted by the Elta news agency. However, even people who said they want to get vaccinated may end up hesitating when the time comes to make the decision, she noted.

According to Gaižauskaitė, most respondents who did not want to get Covid-19 shots said they had doubts about this particular vaccine, quoting its unprecedented, rapid rollout and the short testing period.

Some respondents in the survey also said they wouldn't get vaccinated because they had already recovered from Covid-19 and believed they were immune to repeated infections, while others said they did not trust vaccination in general.

In terms of gender, men were more willing to be vaccinated (49 percent) than women (33 percent), as were people over 55 (48 percent).

Meanwhile, a third (33 percent) of the respondents would agree to make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for everyone, while 46 percent would oppose it.

Ten percent don't believe in coronavirus

The LTSC's study also found that 66 percent of Lithuanians were personally acquainted with someone who was diagnosed with the coronavirus. One-fifth of respondents said they had to self-quarantine at least once due to the infection or coming in close contact with infected people.

One tenth, however, said they did not believe the coronavirus existed.

Researchers also asked people how they responded to coming down with Covid-19 symptoms.

“Sixty percent of people who felt coronavirus symptoms did not turn to any healthcare institution,” said Diana Janušauskienė who headed the study.

According to her, this suggests that there are more infections in the population than official data indicates.

Meanwhile over two-thirds, 68 percent, of people in the study thought that the measures adopted by the government to contain the virus were justified and necessary.

Presentation of the study results (in Lithuanian) can be accessed here.

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