Doubts about anticovid vaccines in Italy

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the planet is experiencing the first pandemic called Covid 19, caused by viruses (and related variants) that cause more or less serious respiratory problems. The coronavirus was unknown in the world before the pandemic began in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.
Italy has been hit hard by the contagion. The rapid spread of Covid 19 has caused health, economic and social problems, exposing a multitude of fragilities existing in the community, especially in the less well-off people.
The health emergency has brought out expressions of solidarity but also cynical speculations and many doubts about vaccines. In fact, despite the vaccination campaign being very effective, skepticism and perplexities are still rampant. Although the perception of the risks and difficulties caused by the pandemic is very clear, some populations around the world are opposed to any vaccination, including that against Covid-19. Specifically, for example, there are many Italians worried about these new vaccines, both for doubts regarding the effectiveness against Coronavirus, and the speed with which it was developed, and for the mistrust in institutions, up to the fear for any side effects. In part, all of this is due to the influence of traditional media, still central to the belief-forming process: for example, it is often easily recognizable in old vaccine fears, such as the belief that the MMR vaccine (measles-mumps-rubella) cause autism. Often, social media are fertile ground for the passage of mis-information (erroneous reporting or lack of solidity of the source) and dis-information (fake news, deliberately false) which in addition to being contagious, travel very fast, certainly much more than the truth. even faster on the web and in social networks.
Fear and doubt can be normal but must be managed on the same level from which they are generated, the emotional one. The hesitation about vaccination, defined as refusal, delay or uncertainty about the usefulness and safety of the vaccine, is recognized by the WHO as one of the 10 most important threats in the world today. The Italian numbers confirm this, given that 17.6% of the population declare that they have no intention of getting vaccinated. According to the study conducted by the National Agency for Regional Health Services (technical-scientific body of the Italian National Health Service) the most skeptical segment of the population would be those between 35 and 44 years.

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Francesca Colomba