Vienna, Sep 25 (EFE).- The vaccination rates in Austria have recently stalled at 60 percent of the population due to a mix of the government’s errors and people’s refusal amid an increase in hospitalizations and curbs to tackle the pandemic.
The inoculation campaign slowed down despite increasing the vaccination points that can be visited without an appointment and even without presenting a health card.
In Vienna, a supermarket chain has installed vaccination points at several shops, while St. Stephen’s Cathedral dedicated a spot for vaccination and bus tours to bring the vaccine to the most peripheral neighborhoods.
“For us it is also a mystery,” sociologist Bernhard Kittel told Efe on the hindered rollout before citing factors including conspiracy theories, fear of side effects and particular elements of Austria.
The Eurobarometer’s data shows that “scientific skepticism is notably higher in Austria than in the rest of Europe,” according to Kittel, head of the Vienna university’s Austrian Corona Panel Project.
Only 6 percent of the unvaccinated people over 14 years old are willing to be administered the jab, compared to 46 percent in May 2020, according to the latest report by the panel that analyzes Austrian’s reaction to the pandemic.
One of the reasons beneath the refusal is the mild impact of the pandemic as Austria is the ninth European Union country with the lowest mortality rate; 1,195 deaths per million inhabitants.
This contrasted with the alarming tone adapted by prime minister Sebastian Kurz at the onset of the pandemic.
“The fundamental mistake was to be based on fear and not on information and in taking the population seriously. The government was advised by experts in advertising and marketing and not by scientists,” Kittel said.
Amid the slow vaccination campaign, the Austrian authorities decided to tighten the curbs.