Two in three Dutch people (64 percent) think it is a good idea that people with vulnerable health receive an extra corona vaccination. But as long as not everyone in the world has had the chance to receive a vaccination, half would rather give it first to countries where little or no vaccination has yet been given.
From research by One today among more than 27,000 participants from the Opinion Panel It turns out that there is in principle great enthusiasm for a third corona vaccination. Only 16 percent think an extra vaccination is a bad idea, 20 percent do not know. This mainly concerns unvaccinated people who are negative towards vaccination in any case.
A large majority, 64 percent, are in favor of a third shot for the vulnerable if it helps to better protect them against the delta variant of the corona virus or diminishes the effectiveness of their vaccinations in the long term, the poll shows. 86 percent of those vaccinated would eventually like to have a third shot if it would provide them with better protection against the coronavirus, provided that other countries do not need the vaccines.
Germany, France and the United Kingdom, among others, want to give people with reduced resistance a third vaccination in the near future. That ‘booster’ should offer extra protection, because the effectiveness of vaccines seems to decrease over time.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has serious reservations about additional rounds of injections. The organization has asked richer countries to hold off on that, as long as there are still many poor countries where most of the population has not even had a first shot.
Scarcity in the world
The Dutch also struggle with this dilemma, according to the opinion poll. As long as there is a scarcity in other parts of the world, only a third (35 percent) thinks that the Dutch government should now order additional vaccines for an extra round of injections. Almost half (47 percent) would rather see those vaccines go to poor countries where few people have been vaccinated.
There are both ethical and pragmatic reasons behind this, says opinion pollster Gijs Rademaker. Like the WHO, they find it selfish for richer countries to put the protection of their ‘own’ vulnerable above that of unvaccinated inhabitants of other countries. In addition, they fear virus variants that arise in countries where few people have been vaccinated and that find their way to the Netherlands.
Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) has asked the Health Council and the OMT for advice on the need for an extra round of injections. That advice must be ready by September at the latest. US health authorities last week authorized people with weakened immune systems to receive a third vaccination of Pfizer or Moderna. The European health authorities have not yet taken a decision on this.
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