Only 24% of Israelis willing to get coronavirus vaccine immediately - poll

Some 23% of Israeli's don't know if the vaccine is safe, 17% think it is not safe, and 6% are sure it is not safe.

A participant takes part in a simulation for medical personnel at Sheba Medical Center for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. (photo credit: Courtesy)
A participant takes part in a simulation for medical personnel at Sheba Medical Center for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Some 63% of Israelis plan on being vaccinated against the coronavirus but only 24% of them plan on getting the vaccine immediately, a new poll published by Ynet News on Friday has found.
The poll found significant differences in the number of those above age 65 who plan on getting vaccinated. Some 82% of those over age 65 plan on being vaccinated, and 50% of them would get the vaccine immediately.
A survey conducted by Israel Hayom last week found similar differences between younger and older Israeli's attitudes towards vaccines with older survey respondents more likely to get vaccinated.
One possible explanation for the relatively low number of Israelis willing to be vaccinated immediately is the public's opinion of the safety of the vaccine. Some 23% of Israeli's don't know if the vaccine is safe, 17% think it is not safe, and 6% are sure it is not safe, according to the Ynet poll.
World Health Organization (WHO) experts have pointed to a 65%-70% vaccine coverage rate as a way to reach population immunity through vaccination. Recent polls point at Israel being below this mark.
In addition to Friday's Ynet poll showing that only 64% plan on being vaccinated, Israel Hayom's poll last week found that 37% of Israelis will refuse to be vaccinated. A Haifa University poll found similar results with 20.3% of Israeli-Jewish respondents and 16% of Arab-Israeli participants would like to receive a vaccine immediately if it was made available to them.
"We are excited that we now have effective vaccines to help us control the COVID-19 pandemic," said Prof. Manfred Green, director of University of Haifa’s international master’s program in public health. "However, there appears to be a striking lack of trust in a large part of the whole Israeli population, and particularly among Arabs and women, in a COVID-19 vaccine.
"Israel will soon have COVID-19 vaccine doses available, but we need to deal with the issue of trust in the vaccine, or we may not witness the kind of demand for a vaccine that we thought it would have."
“The idea of herd community is to protect the vulnerable,” said Eleanor Riley, a professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh. “And the idea behind it is that if, say, 98% of a population have all been vaccinated, there will be so little virus in the community that the 2% will be protected. That’s the point of it.”


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