Vaccination against COVID-19
No work, no rail travel, no restaurant visits. More and more countries are introducing requirements for a covid-19 vaccine in order to lead what was previously considered a normal life.
According to researcher Björn Rönnerstrand, similar requirements are unlikely in Sweden.
France, Australia, United Kingdom, Greece and Italy. The list of countries where the covid-19 vaccine is required to work in the field of health and care is growing every day. Other countries go even further – in Fiji and Saudi Arabia, for example, the vaccination requirement applies to anyone who simply wants to go to a workplace.
“It will of course be limited,” says Björn Rönnerstrand, a political science researcher at the University of Gothenburg.
“We’ve already seen that people’s freedom of movement is restricted during the pandemic. A vaccine is really a way to treat exactly that.”
All types of vaccinations in Sweden are optional. However, in a 2018 Som survey, a clear majority said they supported a mandatory universal vaccination program for children. According to Rönnerstrand, it was the elderly and those who read a lot of newspapers who were in favor of compulsory.
Support was lower among those who lacked confidence in healthcare professionals. I think that’s also an important factor when it comes to a pandemic vaccine.”
In France for example, Where, as of August, vaccine certificates are required, among other things, for train trips, cinema and restaurant visits, vaccine skepticism has historically been high, and Rönnerstrand says introducing stringent vaccination requirements in such a country presents a dilemma.
This kind of commitment is required especially in countries where trust in health care and institutions is low. But with demands at the same time, trust risks becoming less.”
Rönnerstrand believes that strict demands risk making even the biggest opponents react by kicking back. Historically, vaccine claims have stirred passion. Early in the 19th century, compulsory smallpox vaccination sparked discontent in many camps, especially among groups outside the community. In Britain, for example, thousands of vaccine opponents have taken to the streets to protest.
According to Rhonestrand, actions perceived as coercion may have consequences for people’s willingness to make further efforts to limit the spread of infection.
But depending on the attitude towards COVID-19, mandatory can certainly be effective. We have seen, for example, that a very large number of immunization times booked after the French vaccination rules were announced.”
Also, for example, Greece Russia requires a certificate of vaccination against Covid-19 to go to the cinema or visit bars and cafes, but in Greece only indoors. Indonesia and Turkmenistan operated the line and provided vaccination requirements for all citizens. But Björn Ronnerstrand does not think something similar will happen in Sweden.
“In Sweden, vaccination should be based on volunteerism and transparency, which is also reasonable as long as the vaccination rate is good,” he says.
The children’s vaccination program has also been voluntary for 40 years. It has worked for a long time, but we also have a high level of confidence in Swedish healthcare.”
In some countries, the issue of vaccines has become increasingly politicized, including the United States and France. However, in Sweden, we seem to be more in agreement – politically and socially, according to Ronstrand.
“It can be dangerous to take very dangerous coercive measures if there are political groups that oppose and shoot dissatisfaction.”
It is important to Ronnerstrand points out that there are other ways than coercion and demands to get the population to congregate.
“Like better access to information for groups that find it difficult to obtain. This should be the first step before the introduction of authorization.”
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