For the coronavirus vaccinations, more persuasive work has to be done, and that continuously and with a plan, demands the infectiologist Richard Greil from the University Hospital Salzburg. Greil himself led several vaccination studies at the clinic and experienced the uncertainty of participants from vaccination opponents.
In Austria, the willingness to have the coronavirus vaccination is well below the global average, said Greil. According to surveys, only around half in Austria are currently willing to be vaccinated, but the average worldwide is 70 percent, and in China even 90 percent.
Participants feared they were being bullied
According to Greil, one reason for this is a militant, hard core of anti-vaccination opponents that makes others insecure. He also noticed this with the participants in the coronavirus vaccination studies in Salzburg. “People who agreed to take part in a vaccination study only registered anonymously and in some cases did not tell their families because they were afraid that their children would be bullied at school or they themselves at work.”
Continuous persuasion for vaccination readiness
In principle, Greil believes that 70 to 80 percent of the population in Austria can be motivated to vaccinate. But that requires regular and continuous persuasion.
“On the one hand, you have to protect some from aggression and take along those who are more willing to be vaccinated, but who simply don’t have the information. On the other hand, you have to be very clear to everyone else and clearly state that it is not a question of personal responsibility, but that we have a responsibility to society as a whole, ”said Greil.
“Doctors and nursing staff should be role models”
According to the infectiologist, this persuasion must begin now at the latest. Doctors and nursing staff play an important role here – their opinion and role model are more important to people than politicians when it comes to health issues, stressed Greil.