NEWS

Seven in 10 Greeks fear Covid sickness

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Almost 85% of Greeks are concerned about the coronavirus pandemic and seven out of 10 are afraid they will get sick from the coronavirus, a survey conducted on behalf of the Athens Medical Association has revealed.

The levels of concern, and fear of catching the disease, are significantly higher than those expressed in a similar survey last July. Then, 68% of the respondents had expressed concern about the Covid-19 pandemic and 46% said they feared getting sick.

Since then, the fourth wave of the pandemic has hit and the number of confirmed cases has more than doubled, exceeding 1 million out of a total population of about 10.7 million. There have been slightly over 7,000 fatalities, putting the total at 20,126 by Wednesday afternoon. On top of that, the country is bracing for a fifth wave of the pandemic, dominated by the highly infectious Omicron variant.

But if Greeks are more fearful, they are also expressing greater confidence in the vaccines. However, most of those not vaccinated seem to have settled in their views and will not budge.

Vaccines are considered safe by 76% of the respondents, up from 63% in July. Among the respondents, 78% said they have been vaccinated at least once and 2% said they will book a shot. Of the remaining 20%, only 12%, or 2.4% of the total sample, said they plan to be vaccinated in the future, while most of the rest were negative.

Nearly half of the holdouts said they considered vaccines ineffective and about a quarter each either prefer getting natural immunity, by getting sick, or are afraid of the vaccines’ effects.

Asked about their view of the restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the pandemic, 44% said they are not strict enough, 31% said they are about right and 19% found them too strict.

The survey was conducted from December 2 to 6 on a sample of 1,000 respondents aged 17 and over.