EU vaccinations could begin ‘in the first quarter of 2021’
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EU vaccinations could begin ‘in the first quarter of 2021’

Credit: Belga

The first vaccinations against Covid-19 in the European Union could take place “in the first quarter of 2021”, in an “optimistic” scenario, the director of the European agency in charge of epidemics has said.

The situation on the epidemic front on the Old Continent is “very, very worrying” and “all our indicators are going in the wrong direction,” Andrea Ammon, director of the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) told AFP, calling on Europeans to scrupulously respect the restrictions in place, “however difficult it may be”.

Latest trends, however, predict that less than three out of four people (73%) in the world are willing to be vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the results of a new study conducted by the World Economic Forum and Ipsos among 18,526 adults in 15 different countries.

Potential to Compromise The Effectiveness of a Vaccine

According to Arnaud Bernaert, head of the World Economic Forum’s Health and Health Care Department, these results are significant enough to compromise the effectiveness of a vaccine and the end of the containment cycle. “It is essential that governments and the private sector work together to build confidence in the next steps. It is important to know that when a vaccine is ready, it will make a difference,” he said.

The biggest concerns are side effects (34%) and clinical trials moving too quickly (33%). A smaller proportion thinks the vaccine will not be effective (10%), admit to being against vaccines in general (10%), or think the risk of contracting Covid-19 is too low (8%).

“While the figures in this new study show that confidence in a vaccine against Covid-19 remains high, the growing hesitation is significant and underlines that a vaccine will not be effective if people refuse to be vaccinated,” Bernaert concluded.

The study was conducted by Ipsos from October 8-13, 2020 on its Global Advisor online survey platform, among a total of 18,526 adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada and South Africa, and 16-74 in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times