“Portugal is European country with most ‘confidence’ in Covid vaccines”

Portugal is the European country where the population has the most ‘confidence’ in vaccines against Covid-19.

This is the conclusion of a Eurobarometer study published by the European Commission today, indicating that 95% of Portuguese deem the vaccines ‘safe’.

Put another way, 46% ‘totally agree’ with the contention that they are safe, while 49% ‘tend to agree’.

It’s not quite the same thing, but seems to be for the purposes of Eurobarometer’s conclusions.

The news comes as elsewhere experts have explained that a number of people in hospital in Lisbon right now suffering serious effects of Covid-19 have been both single jabbed and double jabbed with one of the vaccines (click here).

But as is the nature of official press releases, the Eurobarometer study doesn’t concern itself with anything other than its own findings.

To this end, Spain is presented as the second European country where vaccine confidence is highest. 92% of the Spanish are in favour of the shots, while the European average for ‘confidence’ / acceptance is (only) 81%.

70% of Portuguese are presented as “not understanding that (some) people are reluctant to accept the vaccines”, while 82% think everyone should be vaccinated against Covid-19 as it is (in their eyes at least) “a civic duty”. Only 62% believe the vaccines should be obligatory.

Explain reports, “Portugal is also the country where more people agree with the affirmation that “one can avoid infection with Covid-19 without being vaccinated”.

17% “very much believe this”, 41% “tend to agree” – meaning a total of 58% accept that it’s not simply the vaccine that can keep people safe.

Bearing in mind vaccine efficacy in face of the Delta variant particularly has now been called into question, this indicates Portuguese people could be doing their own research.

The study for example found that Portuguese are also the population that “most suspects that vaccines against Covid-19 could have long term effects”, with 24% suspecting this “totally”, and 53% “tending to suspect” this.

Nonetheless the general consensus remains that “the benefits of the vaccines exceed the possible risks”: 47% “totally agrees with this affirmation” while 40% “tend to agree”.

The study then went into how satisfied Portuguese people are with both Europe, in guaranteeing access to vaccines, and their own government in distributing them.

In the case of Europe, Portugal is the country that most considers Europe has been ‘crucial’ in guaranteeing access to Covid vaccines. In total 89% of nationals feel this way, either wholeheartedly or at least a bit. 

But when it comes to government management, only 12% say they feel ‘very satisfied’ by the way things have been handled.

61% are ‘kind of satisfied’, while 75% are described as believing the vaccines are “the only way to end the pandemic” (this doesn’t quite gel with the previous affirmation that 58% believe infection can be avoided without the vaccine, but it does fit entirely with the fact that 24% suspect vaccines will have long term consequences on people’s overall health). 

The press release marches on with the statement that 79% of those quizzed ‘fully intend to be vaccinated by the end of the year’.

The study – entitled “Attitudes on vaccination against Covid-19” – was compiled between May 21 and 26, and involved 26,000 people (roughly 1,000 for each Member State) with the exception of Luxembourg, Malta and Cyprus, where only 500 people per territory were questioned.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com