A wide-ranging opinion survey by Bangkok University (Bangkok Poll) reveals that a slight majority of people hold out moderate hope that vaccines will help end the Covid-19 pandemic, but worry about side effects.
The poll also revealed that almost one-quarter of those surveyed fear the vaccines will not be effective.
The poll was conducted via telephone interviews on Jan 18-20 on 1,186 people aged 18 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country.
Asked what they thought would be most affected if the Covid-19 outbreak continued unabated, a bare majority — 50.1% — cited their jobs and incomes; 27.4% the possibility of being infected by the virus; 15.0% travel; 4.0% availability of necessities and food; 3.2% expenses for protective gear; and 0.3% children’s education.
Asked if vaccines would help contain or end the pandemic in the country, 51.3% said they are moderately hopeful; 32.8% very hopeful; and 15.9% had little or no hope.
Asked to list their concerns about vaccines, 39.6% chose their side effects; 17.0% their effectiveness; 12.8% whether new vaccines would be needed to fight new Covid-19 variants; 12.7% were concerned they would not be entitled to free vaccinations; and 7.8% worried about smuggled vaccines without Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) approval.
Asked to list the biggest lessons they learned from the Covid-19 outbreak during the past year, 40.2% said the illegal entry of migrants could cause serious damage; 20.3% hiding information could put other people at risk; 17.6% recklessness on the part of some people could put the majority at risk; 8.8% complying with health measures could reduce infections; 5.2% being in crowded places was conducive to virus spread; 4.4% inter-provincial travel could spread the virus; and 3.5% closing the country’s borders could reduce inflows of infections.
Asked how they have learnt to protect themselves from Covid-19 — with each respondent allowed to give more than one answer — 99.3% mentioned use of face masks, frequent hand washing and social distancing; 86.6% being more careful at crowded places; 74.8% monitoring news about infections and high-risk areas; 69.1% eating only hot, cooked food; 47.3% scanning the Thai Chana and Mor Chana QR codes when visiting public places; 46.1% learning how to work from home as well as in the office; and 45.1% making payments via apps to avoid physical contact.
Top: A domino effect concept image showing a coronavirus vaccine stopping the infection. Photo: Jernej Furman (CC BY 2.0)