As the likelihood that the EU will accept the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine increases, so does the mistrust towards it.
Unknown side effects, conspiracy fears, allergic reactions… mistrust towards the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 jab is growing in France. “The closer the vaccine, the less willing the French are to get a jab,” concludes the latest survey published on 4 December by Santé Publique France, the government health agency. Just over half of the people questioned in November (53%) said they wanted to be vaccinated, compared to 64% in July. A poll published by BFMTV also found similar results: “52% (+4 points in a fortnight) of the French population say that they will not be vaccinated against coronavirus,” announced the French TV channel.
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Only 34% are in favour of the vaccine
The survey by Santé Publique France found that only 34% of participants were willing to get a vaccine. The government agency said that the likelihood of a person getting a vaccine increased the more favourable their view of the French government. Furthermore, the opinion of health professionals is in sharp contrast with popular opinion: 88% of doctors say that they would recommend the Covid-19 vaccine to their patients.
What are the side effects?
The American Drug Administration states that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has the following side effects: Redness at the injection site, occasional chills, numbness in the arm. The question mark over side effects is the main cause of mistrust towards the vaccine, and particularly amongst the French population, who “fear longer-term damage”. The French Health Minister, Olivier Veran, has addressed these concerns, stressing that there will be “absolute transparency regarding the vaccine’s effectiveness (…) and its possible undesirable effects, whether serious or benign”.
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