Almost one Italian out of two declares that, probably, he will not be vaccinated against Covid-19. Although for months virologists, infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists and the whole scientific community have been repeating that the real weapon of defense against Sars-Cov-2, but above all the only way to return to a form of effective normalcy no longer marked by “phases”, is mass vaccination (as soon as a vaccine is available), the data emerging from a recent research by the EngageMinds HUB of the Catholic University say in a surprising way that a large portion of the population equal to 41% who places their propensity for a future vaccination between not at all probable or halfway between probable and not probable. Things don’t change much in the United States: according to a survey conducted in New York on a thousand people in late April, only 59% of respondents said that they would have undergone an anti-Covid vaccination, and only 54% would have had it done to their children.
There are not many differences between the various areas of Italy
The investigation does not stop there, and keeping in the center the fact that 4 out of 10 Italians say they are not inclined to get vaccinated, compare this unexpected fact with other elements that bring the analysis deeper. The research, conducted between 12 and 18 May, on a sample of 1000 people, perfectly representative of the entire Italian population and carried out with the CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interview) methodology, in fact highlights thatand from a territorial point of view, the difference between the different areas of our country is modest. It can only be pointed out that, compared to the national figure, the propensity not to get vaccinated is slightly higher in Central Italy (43%).
The 35-59 age group is doubtful
More detailed information comes from the intersection of the basic data with socio-demographic factors. In general – explains the professor Gwendolyn Graffigna, Professor of Consumer Psychology and director of the EngageMinds HUB research center of the Catholic University – the youngest (34% against 41% of the total sample) and the oldest (29% against 41% of the total sample) are less hesitant against vaccination. More fraught with doubts, however, are people between 35 and 59 years old (48% against 41% of the total sample). The research does not reveal particular emphasis on the basis of the profession: retirees and students are less suspicious of the vaccine; on the other hand, the workers are more hesitant and, on average, employees and entrepreneurs. In the United States, however, another Bospar survey in early May had reported that young people aged between 18 and 24 were among the least likely to be vaccinated.
But what makes the difference seems to be psychology: if we compare the percentages of those unwilling to get vaccinated among the different subgroups of the sample, we note that those fatalistic in health management and believe that the risk of contagion from Sars-Cov-2 is out of his control even more hesitant than the possibility of getting vaccinated (57% against 41% of the total sample), while on the contrary those who are “hired” feel first responsible for the prevention of infection and are more positive and inclined towards administration of the vaccine. But to make a difference too the consideration of vaccination as an act of social responsibility: those who have a more individualistic and selfish approach to health management and do not consider vaccinating an act of social responsibility tend to be even more avoidant towards the hypothesis of a future vaccination program for Covid-19 (71% vs 41% of the total sample). On the contrary, decidedly more inclined than the average those who believe that their behaviors have an important value for collective health.
An awareness campaign
These data are an alarm bell to be taken into account, above all because they indicate the need to start immediately with one education and awareness campaign dedicated to the population in which to help understand the importance of getting vaccinated against Covid 19 – considers Graffigna -. It’s not just about spreading information or fighting fake news about vaccines. Educating means putting yourself in the shoes of those who need to be trained, that is, starting from their concerns, their expectations of knowledge and their questions, to open themselves to a constructive dialogue between science and citizenship aimed at reassuring and supporting the profound change of attitude. What must be advocated, even before a positive attitude towards vaccines, the maturing of a better active involvement (engagement) towards health and prevention – concludes the head of the study Guendalina Graffigna -, which passes from the understanding of how each of our actions preventive is an act of social responsibility towards the health of the community
The research team – carried out as part of the Craft project of the Cattolica, Cremona campus – coordinated by Professor Guendalina Graffigna and composed of Greta Castellini, Lorenzo Palamenghi, Mariarosaria Savarese and Serena Barello.
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