QCOSTARICA – 94% in Costa Rica believe in the importance of the entire population being vaccinated to maintain control of covid-19, while 89% of parents agree “strongly” with vaccinating their children under the age of 18.
These are two of the main conclusions of a study commissioned by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
At the time of being consulted, 53% of the participants already had the complete scheme, 32% already had one dose and 15% had not yet been inoculated. Of this last group, 65% said that they will vaccinate, but their date had not yet arrived or they were waiting to evacuate doubts
Between 5% and 6% of those interviewed said they did not believe in the virus and the same percentage stated that they will never be vaccinated.
The research, said the entities, was carried out in order to identify what people know, think and practice about covid-19 and vaccines against the disease. In this way, the data will serve in the search for mechanisms to reach the population with information and motivation campaigns.
“The data demonstrate the need to continue listening to the population and provide information in a clear and understandable way about covid-19 and its vaccines,” said María Dolores Pérez, PAHO representative in Costa Rica.
When people were asked why they had been vaccinated, 64% said that to take care of themselves and their family, 13% for reducing risks, 8% for fear of getting sick and dying and 8% for responsibility or because it is part of their job.
These reasons were very similar to what they gave when asked why they would vaccinate their child. 57% said protection and prevention, 19% for health and well-being, and 8% because it is important.
When asked about the importance of other people being vaccinated, the majority of respondents expressed that, regardless of whether it is mandatory or not, the more people are immunized, the faster they can get out of the pandemic. 65% stated that it is the best way to minimize hospitalizations and deaths in the country, and 21% to achieve greater immunity.
However, the percentage of people who support mandatory vaccination dropped to 68%.
Doubts and fears
When those not inoculated were asked the reasons for not having done so, 34% said that for fear of side effects, 26% said that even with the vaccine they can get sick; 17% said they did not know why they had not yet been immunized (or would not do so at all).
In addition, 6% said that vaccines (in general) do not work, 4% consider that vaccines rather cause the disease. This same figure said that people are injected with the disease and another 4% said they cause biomagnetism.
Another 2% cited religious reasons, and that same percentage indicated that they had already had the disease and therefore did not need it. Another 2% indicated that this drug was not allowed in their family.
Regarding the injection for minors, 7% assured that they will not be vaccinated and 4% that they still do not know if they will. When asked about the reasons, 9% said they would not do so out of fear, 6% pointed out that the virus does not exist and 4% believe that the drug would rather make their children sick.
The study is of Conocimientos, Actitudes y Prácticas (CAP) -Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices – and was carried out by the CID Gallup company. It consisted of two parts: one was a survey of 1,000 people over 18 years of age throughout the country and the other a qualitative study with in-depth interviews with 100 adults.
The interviews were conducted between August 4 and September 6, 2021. At that time, the mandatory vaccination to attend leisure activities had not been announced. The margin of error is ∓3 points.