Lateral thinker or simply indecisive: Who are the unvaccinated?

Vaccinated or not vaccinated, society is increasingly divided into two groups. At least that’s how it works, because representatives of the two extremes speak up, especially in social networks: some, some who absolutely do not understand why there are people who refuse a vaccination, the others who want a vaccination reject and sometimes vehemently stand up for it. But not all unvaccinated people are such hardliners, as a current survey by the University of Erfurt shows. The survey is part of the German Cosmo study, for which participants have been asked about Corona since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to this, only a little more than half of those who have not been vaccinated are currently certain that they really do not want to be vaccinated. Around a quarter still have doubts. One in five people have already decided to have the vaccination, but they still have to get it, said study director Cornelia Betsch in a press briefing from the Science Media Center.

Women especially hesitant

According to the Erfurt study, people who have not been vaccinated are more likely to be female, more likely to have children, a low level of education, more of a migrant background and often don’t know anyone who has ever contracted Covid-19. “Women in particular are a bit hesitant and therefore a large target group,” says Betsch.

Many unvaccinated people could still be convinced. Above all, this requires information and education. This can be seen from an example: Many people are afraid that the vaccination will make them sterile. This also affects very young people, such as schoolchildren. In fact, there are now some studies around the world that show that vaccination does not make you sterile. The vaccination is recommended for women and men who want to have children as well as for pregnant women.

According to the survey, 61 percent do not feel well informed. More information is needed, especially for children and young people. According to surveys, children are more willing to vaccinate than their parents.

Education from medicine instead of politicians

Betsch is in favor of politicians being less offensive when it comes to vaccination. You should rather leave this to doctors. “Vaccination is an important health decision. No political decision, ”said Betsch. Doctors and scientists are more credible than politicians.

In the entire population, around five percent are absolutely convinced opponents of vaccination. The others are still open to conviction, says Katrin Schmelz from the University of Konstanz. She is skeptical about compulsory vaccination. Too much trust is lost through duty. Schmelz advocates more positive communication. Those who are unsure are more likely to orient themselves towards the behavior of others. “If you keep hearing that the vaccination campaign is stalling, skeptics probably feel in good company,” emphasized Schmelz. And although the situation is not that bad, 77 out of 100 adults in Germany are vaccinated at least once. In Austria, almost 70 out of 100 people have received their first dose.

An Austrian study by the University of Vienna shows that, especially in the under-30 age group, many are still hesitant and indecisive. In middle adulthood, there are proportionally the majority of people who do not want to be vaccinated, said social scientist Julia Partheymüller on Sunday in the ORF program Im Zentrum.

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