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News article17 June 2021Representation in Ireland

Eurobarometer: Support for vaccination in Ireland 4th highest in the EU

Eurobarometer published today the results of a flash survey on the attitudes on vaccination against Covid-19 across the EU conducted at the end of May 2021.

Table from the Eurobarometer

The survey shows that 75% agree that COVID-19 vaccines are the only way to end the pandemic. 69% are either already vaccinated, or eager to be vaccinated as soon as possible. 79% intend to get vaccinated sometime this year.

However, there are significant variations among Member States and by age group, people under 45 being more hesitant than people above that age. On average, 70% think that the EU is playing a key role in ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccines in their country. A narrow majority of those who express a view are satisfied with the way the EU has handled the vaccination strategy (47% satisfied, 45% dissatisfied). Opinions on the way national governments have handled it are slightly more negative (46% satisfied, 49% dissatisfied).

Some of the finding specific for Ireland include:

Eurobarometer on attitudes to vaccination

76% of Irish people have already been vaccinated or would like to be as soon as possible, 4th highest in the EU after Malta (86%), Spain (78%) and Germany (77%) and well above the EU average of 69%.


A further 11% of Irish people would like to be vaccinated in 2021 or some time later. Only 6% of Irish people do not want to be vaccinated, compared to an EU average of 9% and a high of 23% in Bulgaria.

The survey was carried out between 21 and 26 May 2021. One thousand people, aged 15 and over, were interviewed in Ireland.

 

When asked about their reasons for getting vaccinated against Covid-19 for those who said that they had already been vaccinated, would like to vaccinated as soon as possible or some time in 2021:

  • Ending the pandemic – important or very important for 97% of Irish people and 95% of EU citizens surveyed
  • Protecting themselves from Covid-19 – important or very important for 94% of Irish people and 91% of EU citizens surveyed
  • Protecting their relatives and others from getting Covid-19 – important or very important for 96% of Irish people and 94% of EU citizens surveyed
  • Resuming a more normal professional life – important or very important for 90% of Irish people and 81% of EU citizens surveyed
  • Possibility for them to travel – important or very important for 85% of Irish people and 83% of EU citizens surveyed
  • Possibility for them to meet family and friends – important or very important for 97% of Irish people and 94% of EU citizens surveyed
  • Possibility to go to places such as restaurants, cinemas or sports facilities – important or very important for 85% of Irish people and 86% of EU citizens surveyed
  • 83% of Irish people agree, or tend to agree, that the benefits of vaccination outweigh possible risks. The EU average was 76%.

Reasons for not getting vaccinated for those who said they wanted to get vaccinated “later” or “never”:

  • Thinking pandemic will be over soon – important for 50% of Irish people and 49% of EU citizens surveyed.
  • Risk of contracting Covid-19 is low or inexistent – important or 59% of Irish people and 52% of EU citizens surveyed
  • Risk posed by Covid-19 in general is exaggerated – important for 67% of Irish people. The EU average is 57%
  • Concern about the side-effects of Covid-19 vaccines – important for 74% of Irish people, 6th lowest in the EU. The EU average is 82%
  • Vaccines not sufficiently tested – important for 86% of Irish people and 85% of EU.

Feelings about vaccines

  • 79% of Irish people (4th highest) agree, or tend to agree, that the vaccines authorised in the EU are safe. The EU average was 72%
  • 42% of Irish people agree, or tend to agree, that Covid-19 vaccines are being developed, tested and authorised too quickly to be safe. This was the third lowest share in the EU. The EU average was 52%
  • 57% of Irish people agree, or tend to agree, that Covid-19 vaccines could have long-term side effects that we do not know about yet. This was the third lowest share in the EU where the average was 61% (high of 77% in Portugal)
  • 80% of Irish people agree, or tend to agree, that a vaccine is the only way to end the pandemic, 5th highest in the EU, where on average 75% of people agreed
  • 65% of Irish people agree or tend to agree with the statement that they did not understand why people are reluctant to get vaccinated. EU average was 62%
  • 45% of Irish people agree, or tend to agree, that public authorities are not sufficiently transparent about the Covid-19 vaccine, 7th lowest in the EU. The average was 57% rising to 75% in Slovenia
  • 72% of Irish people agree, or tend to agree, that it is a civic duty for everyone to get vaccinated against Covid-19, 6th highest in the EU. The EU average was 63%
  • Just under half (49%) of Irish people agree or tend to agree that Covid-19 vaccines should be compulsory. The EU average was 46%.

Sources of information

The survey also shows that, when it comes to getting reliable information on Covid-19 vaccines:

  • 30% of Irish people trust the EU
  • 31% trust the Irish government
  • 54% trust the Irish health authorities
  • 68% trust health professionals, doctors, nurses and pharmacists

Only 5% trust online social networks while 12% trust the media.


Handling of the vaccination strategy

  • 84% of Irish people agreed, or tended to agree, 2nd highest behind Portugal (89%) that the EU is playing a key role in ensuring that we can have access to Covid-19 vaccines in our country. The EU average was 70%.
  • 64% of Irish people are very satisfied or fairly satisfied with the way their government has handled the vaccination strategy, 6th highest in the EU. This compares to an EU average was 46%.
  • 68% of Irish people are very satisfied or fairly satisfied with the way the EU has handled the vaccination strategy, 3rd highest in the EU. This compares to an EU average was 47%.

Experience of Covid-19

When asked if they knew someone who had tested positive for Covid-19, 69% of Irish people said “yes”, 5th lowest in the EU. The EU average was 73% rising to 87% in Luxembourg.

When asked if they themselves had tested positive for Covid-19, only 9% of Irish people said "yes". The EU average was also 9%. Czechia and Slovakia (both 18%) had the highest shares of people who said that they had tested positive for Covid-19.

Further findings:

  • 55% of Irish people fear getting infected with Covid in the future, well above the EU average of 45%
  • 84% of Irish people agree, or tend to agree, that vaccines are safe. The EU average was 81%.
  • 91% of Irish people agree, or tend to agree, that vaccines are effective. The EU average was 87%.

Details

Publication date
17 June 2021
Author
Representation in Ireland