Story by Ian Baker

Apprehension over side-effects was the key reason cited for postponing a Covid-19 vaccination, among people responding at the end of July to an AQA survey.

The informal survey of AQA community members drew responses from 68 people, nearly 90 per cent of whom were living with SCI (the others had a person with SCI in their family).

Of 36 people who said they had been hesitant about receiving a vaccine, 64 per cent said they were worried about complications. Thirty-one per cent said they had delayed getting a shot partly because no one they knew had the virus.

However only 11 per cent said they felt they needed more information about the vaccines, and only one person said they didn’t know where to get vaccinated.

Seventy-five per cent of all respondents said they had already received a vaccine, with a majority accepting the AstraZeneca product. 

In comments, one person reported a week of sickness – mainly soreness and headaches – after their first AstraZeneca shot, while one other reported a day of headaches and tiredness from their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Two others reported rough days immediately after receiving an unspecified shot.

Reasons for getting vaccinated were overwhelmingly self-protection (92 per cent), but two thirds of those vaccinated said they were motivated also by a wish to protect others from the highly infectious disease. Vaccination is known to lower the risk of transmitting infection. 

Ninety per cent of respondents said the coronavirus pandemic was real. No one said it was a hoax, and only two said they believed it was a conspiracy. 

Two thirds of people had received advice on vaccination from their doctors, and about a quarter had taken counsel from family and friends. Only nine per cent said they had taken advice from the media.

Those leaving specific comments were overwhelmingly in favour of vaccination, pointing to the high risk from infection and the low risk from side effects of a jab. 

“More people die from taking aspirin [than from a vaccine],” one respondent said. Another wrote: “If not vaxxed and get Covid I’m a dead man – simple really.”

  • August 31, 2021

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