Distrust of AstraZeneca Vaccine Grows

  • By Lee Joon-woo, Choi Eun-kyung

    February 23, 2021 11:29

    Around half of all Koreans would rather wait to receive their coronavirus vaccine if all that is available is the AstraZeneca jab, which is now not recommended for older patients.

    The Korea Society Opinion Institute polled 1,020 people last weekend and found that 45.7 percent of respondents would prefer to sit back and watch developments even if their turn comes.

    Much the same proportion or 45.8 percent of respondents said they will get vaccinated as soon as they can, and 5.1 percent said they will refuse.

    That suggests 50.8 percent distrust either all vaccines or the AstraZeneca vaccine now that inoculations are set to start on Friday.

    Also, 41 percent of respondents said they do not trust the government's vaccination plans.

    Nurses attend coronavirus vaccination training in a hospital in Daegu on Feb. 18. /Newsis

    The findings contrast sharply with another poll by Gallup Korea earlier last week, where 71 percent said they will take the injections while 19 percent said they will either wait or refuse.

    In another recent survey of the top priority group for the vaccination by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, 93.8 percent of patients under 65 in nursing homes and medical professionals said they intend to get vaccinated.

    Experts said the mounting public jitters ware due to the delay in imports of the more trusted Pfizer vaccine as well as a lack of speedy communication by government officials to allay fears.

    Jung Jae-hun at Gachon University's Gil Medical Center said, "Regardless of the efficacy of vaccines, distrust escalated over the government's vaccination program after the Pfizer delivery was delayed from early February."

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