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Unvaccinated people more likely to hug and party

Illustration image. Credit: Pexels

Unvaccinated people are more likely to hug others and party, but less likely to share their vaccination status than vaccinated people, a recent study found.

Among the unvaccinated, hugging, kissing and shaking hands is more common, regardless of the age group, according to the latest results of the Great Coronavirus study, a collaborative research project by the UAntwerpen, UHasselt, KU Leuven and ULB.

Non-vaccinated people are also more likely to shake hands with colleagues and acquaintances, whilst vaccinated people only shake hands with family members and friends.

The survey, which around 13,000 people living in Belgium took part in, showed that whether people will share their vaccination status depends on whether they are vaccinated or not.

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Researchers also found that almost all vaccinated participants are willing to share their status with family, friends and colleagues, but that among the non-vaccinated, one in four does not want to share this information with colleagues and one in eight does not want to share with family and friends.

They stressed that “this could potentially create tension in the workplace, as a majority of vaccinated people expect colleagues to be open about their vaccination status.”

The study also found that more and more people are starting to party again – 12% of respondents indicated that they attended a party where at least 50 people were present last month – with unvaccinated people being more likely to do so.

It also highlighted that the effective vaccination coverage of children is much higher than previously indicated.

Almost all 16- to 17-year-olds and 12- to 15-year-olds whose parents completed the survey and indicated they were fully vaccinated had received at least one vaccination dose, accounting for 91%.

However, some children of non-vaccinated participants have also been vaccinated in the meantime: 5/21 in the group of 16- to 17-year-olds and 1/25 in the group of 12- to 15-year-olds.

In Belgium, it is not yet possible for children under the age of 12 to be vaccinated, as no advice has been given on this decision yet.

According to the latest figures, more than 8.36 million Belgians have received a first dose of the vaccine – accounting for 72.6% of the total population – whilst more than 7.92 million people are fully vaccinated – accounting for 68.8% of the total population.