Around 70% of Belgium’s population is prepared to get vaccinated against Covid-19, the latest study by the University of Ghent, UCLouvain and ULB found. The figure is down from 77% in January.
The universities focussed on the confidence of citizens and their media consumption in their study, to which a total of 9,253 people responded between 2 and 8 February.
On the French-speaking side, 68% of the population is in favour and 74% is in favour among Dutch-speakers..
According to the results of the study, the positive perception of governments and the feeling of being heard play a big role in the willingness to be vaccinated. Moreover, the Belgian population has a very high level of confidence in the opinion of general practitioners, pharmacists, nurses and experts.
The survey also revealed that people who consult and trust the traditional media are more likely to be vaccinated.
The researchers also noted a decline in public confidence in the authorities. For example, 73% deplore the fact that the country’s leaders “do not ask the population for their opinion.”
There is a marked difference between the north and south of the country, with more people having very little or little trust in the authorities on the French-speaking side (69.5%), while on the Dutch-speaking side it is 57.7%.
The experts therefore recommended giving priority to communication on vaccination via general practitioners, pharmacists and nurses.
They also called for better communication between the authorities and the population. “The threads of dialogue need to be reconnected in order to restore a higher level of trust and instil a new enthusiasm among the population to deal with the pandemic,” they said.
“By listening and taking into account the point of view of the different components of the population in the decisions. This is particularly important on the French-speaking side,” they added.
The Brussels Times