Tuesday 04 October 2022

Half of adults unwilling to have booster vaccine as autumn campaign begins

The arrival of vaccines pushed costs up. Photo: Depositphotos

Around half of Dutch adults are not planning to take a booster vaccination against coronavirus this autumn, according to a survey commissioned by NOS.

People who did not book a third dose last winter are almost twice as likely to say they will refuse the next booster, the research by I&O Research found.

From Monday everyone over the age of 12 is eligible for an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, provided they have not had a booster jab or a coronavirus infection in the last three months.

Just over two-thirds of adults are classed as fully vaccinated, meaning they had the original two vaccines in 2021 and a booster shot last winter. Around 17% of these people told researchers they would not take an extra dose this autumn or were unlikely to.

However, among the 32% of the population who did not take a booster in the winter, 36.1% were not planning to have another jab this year.

Young people were less willing to agree to an autumn booster, with 44% of people under 35 who are fully vaccinated saying they would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ take another dose while 32% said they were unlikely to do so.

Among the 35 to 49 age group 22% of people who were fully vaccinated said they would not, or probably not, book an autumn booster.

Ladders and thermometers

Last week health minister Ernst Kuipers published the government’s strategy for tackling an anticipated autumn wave of infections, which stresses the importance of ‘keeping society open’ and treats protecting access to healthcare and ‘socio-economic continuity’ as equal priorities.

The minister published a list of 29 ‘ladders of measures’ covering a range of sectors including transport, retail, sports clubs and entertainment venues, detailing what steps should be taken based on a ‘thermometer’ indicating the level of infection.

Most measures, such as social distancing, testing and wearing face masks, will only be advisory unless the thermometer reaches the point when ‘interventions’ are needed. At the highest level the government can impose wide-ranging restrictions such as travel bans, home working and requiring proof of vaccination to enter venues.

Last Friday there were 434 people in hospital with coronavirus infections, including 31 in intensive care.

The numbers have fallen by 60% since the end of July, but in the last week there has been a small increase of 4%, indicating the summer decline is coming to an end.

Anyone who wants to book an extra vaccination against coronavirus can find details on coronatest.nl.

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