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One third of Latvian residents do not intend to get vaccinated, survey shows

A survey conducted in mid-April by the “Latvian Facts” (Latvijas fakti) pollster shows that around a third of those surveyed will or have already got an anti-Covid jab, a third will definitely not get it, and a third have not yet decided either way, Latvian Television reported May 5.

The study (full text in Latvian here) surveyed 1,003 Latvian residents aged 15 to 74. It shows that 12% of those surveyed have already received a vaccine dose, 24% say they will definitely get it, 30% are unsure, and 31% are categorically against do so. The proportion of those willing to vaccinate has increased slightly compared to February of this year.

Infographic from "Latvijas fakti"

According to the survey, 38% of respondents aged 15 to 24 said they will definitely not get the jab, as compared to 18% of those aged 65-74.

“Young people are a little more skeptical. Strangely, since it was assumed by the public authorities that pensioners could be more passive. So it's not really true. This time you see young people. With some bravado, one might say,“ commented Aigars Freimanis, director of Latvijas fakti.

Infographic from "Latvijas fakti"

People with lower education levels say “no” to vaccination more often than those with higher education (47% and 20% respectively). Nationals of other countries have responded more skeptically than Latvians.

Infographic from "Latvijas fakti"

Since Monday, May 3, vaccination is theoretically available to all residents of Latvia. Currently, the activity at vaccination points is high, but vaccination organizers say they are expecting that lines will soon shrink and there will be more vaccines than people who want them.

Sociologist Aigars Freimanis believes that a large part of those who are now saying 'no' are not against vaccination in principle, but they need to be addressed individually, via a family doctor or local government social service.

“There are people who are passive enough who, first of all, cannot handle the Internet or who are afraid to handle the Internet despite being able to do so,” Freimanis said.

Ivars Austers, professor of social psychology, said that currently a high level of activity is expected from residents. But those who were willing to stand in long lines have got their jab by now, and the process now needs to be made as simple as possible for those who are more passive.

As of Wednesday, May 5, a total of 273,500 Latvian residents had received their first jab, but 55,000 had received both.

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