Almost 25% of Thais don't want vaccination: poll

Almost 25% of Thais don't want vaccination: poll

Shoppers wearing face masks walk at the EmQuartier shopping centre on Friday ahead of Chinese New Year. (Photo by Pormphom Satrabhaya)
Shoppers wearing face masks walk at the EmQuartier shopping centre on Friday ahead of Chinese New Year. (Photo by Pormphom Satrabhaya)

A majority of people are satisfied with the government's handling of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, but almost a quarter of the population will not seek to be vaccinated, according to an opinion survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted by telephone interviews on 1,315 people aged 15 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country from Feb 1-3.

Asked what they would do regarding vaccination against Covid-19, 63.12% said they would accept a free jab provided by the government, but almost a quarter -- 23.57% -- said they don't want to be vaccinated at all.

A further 7.98% would rather seek a jab from a private hospital with permission from the government at their own expense, while 5.33% had no comment or were not interested.

Asked whether they were afraid of being infected with the virus, a majority said "yes", with 25.86% saying "very much" because the virus was spreading very quickly, elderly people were at risk of being infected and some people were not protecting themselves while vaccines were not yet available.

Another 37.79% saying they were moderately afraid as more people had been infected than in the first wave, but many were asymptomatic and had not isolated. 

Of the rest, 18.86% were not particularly fearful of the virus, reasoning that most people knew how to protect themselves, and 17.49% were not afraid at all because they lived in low-risk areas.

On their satisfaction with the government's handling of the second round of the pandemic, 27.60% were very satisfied and 42.13% moderately satisfied, saying that measures had been swiftly taken to contain the virus and zones clearly designated to indicate the severity of the outbreak.

Of the rest, 20.99% were not particularly satisfied, reasoning that some activities -- such as parties, travel between provinces and arrivals of migrant workers -- had not been properly controlled, and 9.28% were not satisfied at all, saying the whole country should be placed in lockdown.

Asked about the relaxation of restrictions against Covid-19 which began from Feb 1, 43.57% of the respondents fully agreed with it, saying it would allow people to resume their occupations while students and teachers could resume classes and other activities, while 34.68% were in moderate agreement, saying the medical system could now cope with it.

A further 14.75% were fairly opposed to the relaxation, saying the pandemic was still continuing unabated; 6.39% totally disagreed, reasoning some people were still not doing enough to protect themselves; and 0.61% had no comment or were not interested.

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