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13 July, 2024
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The ego cult of the 19%

What are anti-vaxxers thinking?



By Yiouli Eptakili

There is no reason to believe that those who have until now refused to get a Covid-19 shot will at some point come around to the idea of getting a vaccine. They will never change sides. If what we have collectively experienced since February 2020 was not enough to convince them about the need to get inoculated, I can’t think of anything that could possibly have that effect.

Those 19 percent do not see themselves as a link in the chain of life; they do not understand that this interdependence is key in overcoming the pandemic.

A recent opinion poll conducted by Pulse RC for Skai TV explored the reasons behind vaccine denial. Some people said they were “worried about vaccine side effects,” some said that “vaccines are not effective,” some said they were “not worried about the coronavirus,” 11 percent cited religious reasons, and 5 percent justified their reluctance on health grounds. In what was the most unorthodox explanation, 19 percent said their refusal was “in reaction to the pressure.”

So that 19 percent view the existing situation as tyrannical pressure, to which they react by saying: “I will not get vaccinated because you keep telling me to do so!” In other words, they are fed up with hearing about the coronavirus, the vaccines and the scientific studies, and when they see an expert speaking on TV they just switch channels.

What is it they find so bothersome that they refuse to get the shots? Is it the dramatic calls and warnings by experts and state officials? Is it the warnings about the risks the unvaccinated face should they contract the virus? Or are they annoyed by the daily data about the fatalities and the number of intubated patients in ICUs (90 percent of whom are unvaccinated)?

I simply fail to grasp the fact that there are people out there who are so immature about health issues; people who interpret the drama of the pandemic as “pressure” and stubbornly dig in their heels despite the health risks for themselves and their loved ones. That said, I really do not think that these people would not feel “pressured” and would have lined up for a Covid-19 shot had there been no debate all these months about the pandemic, the vaccines, the resilience of the health system, the clinics, the doctors in the ICUs and the dangers of Covid infection.

Those 19 percent do not see themselves as a link in the chain of life; they do not understand that this interdependence is key in overcoming the pandemic. And the reason they do not see this is because they have no sense of social responsibility whatsoever. Their denial is a way of life; a political statement. It is connected to a more profound conviction that security, health and wellbeing are an individual affair; they are not concerned about nor do they depend on the wider community. Every time a key political or social issue is at stake, we can expect this egotistical cult to make up a meaningful chunk of the statistics.

Cyprus  |  anti-vaxxer  |  vaccine  |  COVID  |  Greece

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