Alpha Research: Bulgarians increasingly unwilling to get Covid-19 jabs

About 51.9 per cent of Bulgarians say that they do not intend being vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the results of a poll by Alpha Research, released on February 18. The figure rose from 45 per cent in the polling agency’s previous survey in December.

Just 9.8 per cent of the Bulgarians polled said that they wanted to be vaccinated as soon as possible, down from 15 per cent in the December survey.

The agency said that it was a “worrying trend” that most Bulgarians were not persuaded by the start of the vaccination drive.

“Ten per cent is about half a million people and it is obvious that both the communications and organisational strategy of the campaign require significant improvement,” Alpha Research said.

A total of 36.8 per cent said that they intended to get a jab, but would wait some time before doing so, compared to 40 per cent said that they first wanted to wait and see if the vaccines had negative effects in the December survey, conducted before Bulgaria began its vaccination drive.

Only 1.5 per cent of respondents said that they have already received at least the first dose of the vaccine.

Concerning the impact of the pandemic, 44 per cent of respondents said that they had to “significantly change their entire way of life” and 37.2 per cent said that they experienced psychological and emotional discomfort because of the isolation and other difficulties caused by Covid-19.

In terms of specific changes, 17.2 per cent said that they used internet and new technologies more, while 13.6 per cent said that they switched to working from home.

About 12.4 per cent said that a member of their immediate family lost income, but only 2.7 per cent said a member of their family received aid or compensation. Some 4.5 per cent said that a member of their household had to stay home to care for a child.

Nearly one in six respondents, 15.9 per cent, was directly impacted by the pandemic, with a member of their household contracting the virus.

Close to a quarter of respondents, 24.7 per cent, said that the pandemic had no major impact on their way of life. Primarily this was among residents of rural areas and people that generally have fewer social contacts.

Education was one of the areas impacted the most by the pandemic and also one Bulgarians consider a priority, the polling agency said.

“The situation required quick, flexible and non-traditional solutions, such as distance learning. Despite the generally positive assessment by parents of the education system’s adaptation, 61.6 per cent support the gradual return of older pupils to classrooms on a rotational principle,” Alpha Research said.

Only 14.7 per cent of respondents were somewhat or entirely opposed, the survey’s data showed.

The Alpha Research poll was done between February 8 and 15 among 1007 adult citizens, through direct interviews in their homes.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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