61% of Spaniards consider that the Digital Green Certificate is a “good initiative” to reactivate freedom of movement within the European Union and more than half see it as effective in preventing the spread of the virus, according to a survey carried out by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) together with the member organizations of Euroconsumers -Altroconsumo, Deco Proteste, and Test -Achats-.
This survey aims to assess, among other aspects, the information available to citizens about vaccines, the willingness to get vaccinated, the impact of the AstraZeneca case in the perception of vaccination or the implementation of a vaccination passport. The survey conducted between March 26 and 30 includes a sample of people between 18 and 74 years old.
40% of the Spanish population considers itself well or very well informed. They consider having more information about the effectiveness of vaccines than about side effects. However, comparing with a similar survey carried out in January 2021, the percentage of people who consider that they are now better informed about these side effects has grown by 10 points.
The willingness to vaccinate can be considered high in Spain. In the event that they were notified within a week, 52% of those surveyed would do so without hesitation and 29% probably. Spain (82%) is, followed by Portugal (85%), the country -of the four participants in the survey- where there is more predisposition to be vaccinated. In Italy (76%) and in Belgium (74%) there is less provision.
OCU considers that this information is key for the vaccination campaign to be effective. In fact, information and age are the most significant factors related to willingness to get vaccinated. The better informed the citizen considers himself, the greater his willingness to be vaccinated as soon as possible. On the other hand, respondents over 50 are more willing to get vaccinated as soon as possible, while those under 30 are at the opposite pole.
The main reasons for not getting vaccinated are fear of possible side effects of the vaccine (58%), lack of confidence in certain Covid-19 vaccines (39%), and lack of confidence in the process of preparation and approval of vaccines (30%).
In relation to the government’s decision to suspend the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine for a few days (in March), 57% are in favor and almost 20% against, being 1 in 4 those who are not clear about their position.
In any case, 39% of those surveyed state that they are highly concerned about the potential side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine. For the rest of the vaccines, this percentage drops to 10%.
What’s more, the AstraZeneca case is having a negative impact on public perceptions. For example, 45% of those surveyed have seen their confidence in the organization of the vaccination process diminish due to the latest events related to this vaccine.
66% consider that free PCR tests should be offered to those who have not been vaccinated in order to obtain the vaccination passport. This percentage drops to 41% if we talk about offering them to foreigners visiting Spain.
On the other hand, more than half of those surveyed fear that this system may discriminate between people who have been vaccinated and those who have not been vaccinated. Likewise, almost half are concerned about the use that can be made of the data stored in the vaccination passport.
OCU considers that the citizens of the European Union should have equitable access to this certificate, and that, in any case, the restrictions should be “non-discriminatory, coordinated and proportionate”.