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How to change the minds of those who do not want to be vaccinated?

Europe is one of the world's most vaccinated countries. Recently, however, the rate of vaccination has declined somewhat: Many people do not show up for their appointments. Summertime and low rates of new infections do not encourage people to get vaccinated, not to mention the fact that vaccination centers are a pain in the ass to lure those who are against vaccination as such. Authorities try to combat this trend with various incentives — which is not always welcomed by the press.

Freedom and joie de vivre are worth it

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung demands that politicians set the record straight — without delay:

“Some incentive for those who do not want to be vaccinated could be a decree that restaurants, theaters, and cinemas will only be open this fall and winter to those who have been vaccinated, who have had the disease — or who have had a fresh test. Everyone has the right to make his or her own choice and refuse the vaccine, but in a time of crisis, such freedom must come at a price. Since the number of testing centers is likely to dwindle again soon, the unvaccinated will automatically have more obstacles. So if you like opera better than television, if you like restaurants better than home-delivered meals, and if you like beer from the barrel better than from the refrigerator, you know what to do!”

Blackmail is the wrong way to go

Since July 15, in Greece, establishments in the gastronomic sector and from the cultural and leisure sector can decide for themselves whether to serve only vaccinated people — or to provide visitors with “mixed facilities” and, accordingly, to run fewer customers. Efimerida ton Syntakton criticizes the government:

“Intent on increasing the number of vaccinated, the authorities use blackmail and punitive methods, thus splitting society. Gift vouchers for young people, the separation of vaccinated and unvaccinated people in restaurants and cultural institutions, threats that in the future the unvaccinated will be denied financial support. Day by day, the government relies more and more on a kind of automaticity that pits different groups against each other. But divisions in society have never yet led to positive results.”

We have the perfect weapon!

According to Polityka, the spread of the delta variant should encourage people to get vaccinated:

“Only through mass vaccination, involving a third dose of vaccination if necessary, could thousands of new deaths — and new lockdowns — be prevented. In all likelihood, the coronavirus will continue to accompany us, but we are in a position to greatly reduce its danger. We have the perfect weapon in our hands, and it would be foolish not to use it.”

Hand out train tickets to young people!

NZZ am Sonntag suggests giving young people free trips to Europe — and thus encouraging them to get vaccinated:

“With an Interrail single European train ticket in your pocket, you can travel all over Europe! Such a ticket would be an excellent gift for the up-and-coming and younger generations who have been vaccinated and can now travel. This ticket could be an incentive to get vaccinated, but even more a sign of appreciation and gratitude: during the coronary crisis, young people showed incredible solidarity with the older, more vulnerable generation. The majority of the young people have unhesitatingly agreed to abide by all restrictions. Judging by the contribution young people have made to overcome the pandemic, they are doubly deserving of such a gift.

Trust is more important than awareness

Index.hr points out that vaccination delays may be due to very different factors than authorities claim:

“Lack of interest in vaccination is often explained by lack of awareness or lack of education. While this is true for a certain part of the population, most of the reason for not getting vaccinated is a lack of trust. If people trust the person or institution offering to vaccinate them, they will accept the offer even if they are not very knowledgeable. The opposite is also true: even if people understand an offer or argument, they may reject it if they do not trust the person making it. Informedness is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for making a decision.”

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