Survey: Only half of Finns would get a coronavirus vaccine 

Many people in the survey said they wouldn't take the vaccine - not because they are anti-vaccination, but because they might be unsure about the safety of a brand new drug.

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File picture of Aleksanterinkatu, Helsinki, showing pedestrians and trams / Credit: iStock

A survey carried out by insurance company LähiTapiola found that just 49% of Finns said they would take a Covid-19 vaccine if one became available.

At that time – before news of possible vaccine development breakthroughs were known – some 21% of people said they would not get vaccinated, while 30% of people who were questioned couldn’t say one way or the other what they would do.

People who said they didn’t want a vaccine were concerned about the rapid development of any drug (71%) and possible side effects (56%).

“It is understandable that new vaccines are associated with prejudice, and even erroneous information is easily spread on social media. The scientific community and health authorities can be trusted, and a new coronavirus is also very likely to be a safe and useful vaccine in the near future” explains Jani Tikkanen, Director of Health Services at LähiTapiola, and also a medical doctor.

“This week’s good news about the development of the coronary vaccine will increase confidence that the vaccine will be available soon, but that does not mean that the pandemic has been overcome” he adds.

The results of the survey didn’t seem to indicate any large anti-vaccination sentiments towards vaccines in general, just concerns around the safety of a new, and untested, coronavirus vaccine.

This week the Finnish government confirmed that any vaccines would be offered free of charge to everyone in Finland, and that authorities have already committed to buying three different types of prospective vaccines currently in development.

The survey was carried out by Kantar TNS on behalf of LähiTapiola and questioned 1070 people living in Finland, aged 15-74. The margin of error is about 3.1 percentage points in either direction.