A Danish professor fears that Denmark’s “no” to AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson might increase vaccine skepticism in countries that use these two vaccines.
Michael Bang Petersen is a professor of political science at Aarhus University and leader of the Hope project, which examines people’s behavior during the pandemic in several different countries.
He believes that it is not only the Danish vaccine program that is affected by the decision to exclude two vaccines. He is afraid that vaccine skepticism will increase in other countries that already use these two vaccines, which, according to the professor, do not need negative publicity.
No one lives in isolation
“What one country does is mentioned in the news in other countries. They’re in the same boat out in the world. The actions of one country have consequences on others,” he said. He believes that the Danish health authorities should keep this in mind.
Of course, they must first and foremost deal with conditions in Denmark and the Danes’ health. Still, one must take the international situation into account, Bang Petersen noted.
The two vaccines have been removed from the Danish vaccine program since they have been associated with rare but serious side effects. In Norway, the government’s expert committee will present its assessment of these vaccines by May 10.
Professor Bang Petersen states that the Hope project does not yet have data on how the Danish decision to exclude two vaccines has affected most Danes, nor how the news has been received in other countries. After all, the decision was made recently.
But there was a clear trend when AstraZeneca was first paused in Denmark in mid-March.
“We can see from data collected in other countries that the willingness to get vaccinated was affected in European countries. Until then, it was increasing. So it may well be that this news slowed down a positive development,” Bang Petersen said.
He believes that the question of what impact the Danish decision has internationally does not have a large place in the Danish debate.
Furthermore, it seems that the exclusion of two vaccines hasn’t led to any flourishing of skepticism among the Danish population.
“This is partly due to the fact that the Danes have great confidence in their health authorities and in those who make the decisions,” the professor concluded.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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