MFO: T&T divided on vaccines; only 35% want jab—coverage of minister’s death spread doubt

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Only 35% of persons interviewed by Markets Facts and Opinions (MFO) have expressed their willingness to be vaccinated for Covid-19, with 20% uncertain and 45% against taking the jab.

The survey, which focuses on the ‘national perception of vaccines’ and was conducted between 14 April and 3 May, polled 973 persons via telephone and online interviews and attempted to match the distribution of the population using key demographic variables such as ethnicity, location, age and gender.

Photo: Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh gets the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
(via TTOnline)

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh said the government hopes to vaccinate between 60% to 70% of the population. However, the desire to be vaccinated does not appear to be nearly so widespread.

The MFO divided its interviewees into three main groups—advocates, uncertains, and reluctants—and noted the dominant characteristics of each.

The Advocates (24% of population)

  • Most optimistic about getting the vaccine once it becomes available; 
  • Believes that the government is doing its best to secure vaccines; 
  • 45-64 years;
  • African;
  • Affluent.

The Uncertains (37 percent)

  • Undecided about getting the vaccine once it becomes available; 
  • Least likely to believe that the government is doing its best to secure vaccines;
  • East Indian;
  • Male.

The Reluctants (40 percent)

  • Least optimistic about getting the vaccine once it becomes available;
  • Believes that the government is doing its best to secure vaccines;
  • Female.
Image: The MFO survey, which focuses on the ‘national perception of vaccines’ and was conducted between 14 April and 3 May.

“Persons aged 65 and older age cohort (possibly high comorbidity groups) are more likely than any other age group to express interest in getting the vaccine,” stated the MFO report. “Young persons are the most hesitant about taking the vaccine, indicative of social media (home of misinformation) influence and individualistic ways (lack of social norms). 

“Those who are most interested in getting the vaccine reside in the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo area, while those who are least interested reside in the North Central and Central areas. These and other strong pockets of disagreement, suggest that there is much work ahead to attain the touted herd immunity level (70%+).”

The MFO also looked at the possible public response to media coverage of the death of former Minister of Energy Franklin Khan as well as the surge in infections. Principal medical officer Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards insisted that Khan’s death was unrelated to his vaccination.

“Media announcements of two deaths, including that of Minister Franklin Khan, shortly after being inoculated created the sharpest dip in feelings of doubt about being vaccinated,” stated the report. “The cohort in favour of taking the vaccine appears fragile and showed little growth over the period. 

Image: The MFO reports suggests that media stories linking the death of energy minister Franklin Khan to the vaccine prompted a drop in people wishing to be vaccinated.

“At the end of the survey period, there was the announcement of further restrictions, this caused spikes in reported responsible behaviour, possibly reflecting public fear. However, there was no correlation between this fear and the desire to get vaccinated.”

Half of respondents believe the government is doing its best to secure vaccines for the country, while nine in 10 persons who hope to get vaccinated intend to continue wearing their masks after doing so. The latter sentiment is ‘no different across the ethnic groups’.

The report formed part of a larger study, The MFO Consumer Economic Sentiment Report, which ‘plumbs the population’s opinions of current and expected personal finances, government performance, business conditions and purchasing conditions’.

The MFO reported a margin of error of 3.06% at a 95% confidence level. 


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One comment

  1. Stupidity kills!!

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