Bulgarian Doctor: Bulgarians are not Anti-Vaxxers, about 50% are Skeptics and have Fears
"A year later we know much more about the virus, we know much more at what time and when Bulgarians would be vaccinated and this should be used very actively and with passion in the field, in practice," said in an interview with BNR. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mihail Okoliyski from the office of the World Health Organization in Bulgaria.
Okoliyski reminded that there is information available from an in-depth study of the attitudes of Bulgarians towards Covid-19, which is filled with a new wave of data from November and December.
"And it clearly shows that Bulgarians are not anti-vaccines, only about ten percent are firmly against vaccines. A very large percentage - about 50% are people who are skeptical and who are worried about side effects, about the specifics of vaccines. That is, people who are quite sensible and need an empathic approach, more trust, more attention, specific to their fears, to their age group."
According to Okoliyski, it is too late for a general campaign against the population and it would have little effect.
"We need to take a specific approach to the different groups we have identified. We need to work with health professionals because they are the most trusted units. This study shows that GPs have a very positive impact on people, and if they are involved in this campaign, the effect will be very different.
Mihail Okoliyski stressed that the messages for vaccination should be related to topics that are important for Bulgarians, such as mental health and the development of psychiatric diseases among Covid-19 survivors.
"The damage from the disease is huge. People rarely realize this," said Assoc. Prof. Okoliyski.
In connection with possible financial incentives for vaccination in the show "Before All" Mihail Okoliyski commented:
"Whether people would be vaccinated more if they are offered a prize is a hypothesis that is applied in some countries, including the United States, but I do not think that Bulgarians expect such a message or such an approach. Rather, Bulgarians expected much more adequate information to make an informed decision, and this adequate information has been delayed for two years."
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