Balkan Countries: The Southeastern European nations are seemingly skeptical over the vaccine candidates doing round in the markets. Some critics feel that the pandemic has become an excuse to forward ‘global manipulation’.
Strangely, a study conducted by the Europe Policy Advisory Group for the Balkan states (it was published before the regional vaccination campaign started in December 2020) concluded shockingly that virus conspiracy theories were actually affecting people’s decisions to receive the vaccination. This amounted to nearly 80 percent of the citizens residing in Western Balkan countries. Apparently, these are the same countries that are also striving to join the European Union. About half of them will refuse to get vaccinated, it said.
We are referring specifically to countries like the Czech Republic, Serbia, Bosnia, Romania and Bulgaria that are also running anti campaigns against Russian and Chinese made Covid19 vaccines.
The anti skepticism has flown down to ex-presidents, former doctors and sportsmen too. For example Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic has been foolhardy with his and his family’s health, travelling on tennis tours, refusing to be inoculated.
There is a general buzz that through the vaccine, Russia is trying to insert a microchip into the bloodstream of the users. Serbia does not hold Russia is good esteem and it has historic reasons for that.
Serbian politicians are going on national television to declare safety of the vaccine. They are getting themselves inoculated there. But this isn’t having the desired effect. But even Siberian politicians are divided between the EU approved or the Russian vaccine- there are reasons to favor one over the other.
In Bosnia too, there is a huge divide. An amalgamation between Croats, Bosniaks and Serbs, the country is favoring the Russian over other Western options. In Bulgaria too, there is mistrust due to lack of proper information about the vaccine and its effects. They faced major resistance over the spread of measles earlier too. The trend continues with Covid-19. According to the Gallup International Poll, majority of the population is against getting itself inoculated.
In the Czech Republic, where surveys show some 40% reject vaccination, protesters at a big rally against government virus restrictions in Prague demanded that vaccinations not be mandatory. Former President Vaclav Klaus, a fierce critic of the government’s pandemic response, told the crowd that vaccines are not a solution.
Hungary that had been walking its own pace, going against the EU, has now taken a hard stand against anyone ‘scaremongering’ that is dissuading people to get themselves inoculated. Such trouble makers will be persecuted; but the rate of immunization has not gone up. It dwindles on 30percent.
Herd immunization did not work well; a robust vaccine immunization drive is the only thing that can save these nations from fighting the more deadly form of mutated Corona virus that is challenging nations like the UK presently.