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Over half of Ukrainians oppose mandatory vaccination of entire adult population – survey

KYIV. Sept 14 (Interfax-Ukraine) – More than half of Ukrainians (52%) are against the mandatory vaccination of the entire adult population of the country, "for" – about 23%, according to a study by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation.

At the same time, according to analyst of the Foundation Petro Burkovsky, who presented the results of the study on Monday in Kyiv, more than half of respondents are in favor of mandatory vaccination for health workers, 42% – mandatory vaccination for educators and 40% – for servicemen and law enforcement.

Respondents who have been ill or are likely to be ill with COVID-19 are more likely to advocate for mandatory vaccination.

In total, about 18% of the adult population in Ukraine is currently vaccinated against COVID-19. At the same time, more than 56% of the population does not plan to get vaccinated in the near future. Respondents who did not have COVID-19, much less frequently get vaccinated or plan to be vaccinated than those who had coronavirus.

The lowest level of vaccination coverage is in the age category 80+ – some 7.6% received at least one dose of vaccine. The figure for people aged 40-59 is approaching 20%.

Among the main arguments "for" vaccination, respondents call the desire to work in a period of increasing quarantine restrictions, the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine and the ability to go abroad.

In addition, only 23% of respondents consider a full course of vaccination to be an effective method of protection against COVID-19. Respondents also most often mentioned as effective methods washing hands when coming home (54%), keeping distance from others (42%), attention to health of loved ones and their well-being (39%) and proper wearing of a face mask (36%). Some 22% believe that the use of preventive measures is effective, which is not an evidence-based method.

In total, according to the study, almost 14% of respondents said they had coronavirus and this was documented, which is significantly more than the official statistics. At the same time, the total number of respondents who reported having COVID-19, with or without official confirmation, was close to the Public Health Center study, which reported 40% of the population with antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 as of June-July 2021.

Regarding quarantine – 43% are inclined to carefully observe quarantine, 23% consider it necessary to abandon quarantine as soon as possible, despite the risks that most people can work and earn a living.

In the event of an increase in the incidence of COVID-19, respondents support mandatory and free testing for all (46%), a ban on public events (40%), the introduction of 14-day isolation for all coming from countries where the incidence is higher than in Ukraine ( 38%). Some 2.6% believe that public transport should be restricted in the first place, and 16% believe that the threat of an epidemic is insufficient for the proposed measures.

In addition, the majority of respondents (56.5%) support the introduction of restrictions on mass religious events (crusades, gatherings) until the end of the pandemic. Some 22.5% of respondents oppose it.

The study was conducted during August 14-24, 2021 with the financial support of the British government in the framework of the project "Assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 on Stability and Peace Settlement in Ukraine". Some 2,001 respondents were surveyed in a sample representing the adult population of Ukraine. The maximum random sampling error does not exceed 2.2%.