“The worst thing you can do is make the vaccine compulsory,” virologist Marc Van Ranst told VRT Niews.
“That’s fuel to the anti-vaccine movement, as it’s what they’ve been warning about for years. It would send a very bad signal,” he added.
According to figures from Belgium’s public health institute Sciensano, 50% of people surveyed would certainly get vaccinated, 17% would not, and 33% are in doubt.
“The 17% who will not be vaccinated is not a problem”, he explained. “But you will have to convince the other 33%. And from the past, you learn that you will eventually persuade those people. That will work.”
The issue of whether vaccination for COVID-19 should be mandatory or voluntary in order to achieve the highest possible vaccination rates has taken centre stage lately.
A recent worldwide poll found mixed feelings among EU member states. In Poland and Hungary, 56% of those surveyed said they would get a vaccine, and 59% in France. In Spain, the percentage is 72% while in Great Britain it is 85%.
Only in China, an overwhelming majority (97%) would get the vaccine.
For Andrea Ammon, head of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), there is a need for a mix of approaches depending on the context and circumstances of each country.
(Alexandra Brzozowski, Sarantis Michalopoulos | EURACTIV.com)