Bulgaria needs to order from the new, conventional vaccine Novavax, which could become an alternative for those who do not want to be vaccinated due to distrust in current vaccines. This opinion was expressed to BNR by Dimitar Blagoev, professor of sociology at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”.
The low level of trust in science in our country is an important reason, but it is not the leading one in the resistance to the vaccines against Covid, Blagoev believes.
The lower trust in science in our country compared to European countries is part of a long-standing, multifaceted, widespread distrust of others in general, including institutions, communities, groups, he stressed.
“Attitudes towards vaccination in our country have not come out of nowhere, nor are they on their own. They are part of deeper core values.”
According to Blagoev, leading are the levels are empathy or selfishness in society.
“Everyone judges for themselves” is a cultural expression of tensions related to mistrust, suspicion, and hostility, Dimitar Blagoev commented.
“Up to two-thirds of our fellow citizens treat the world to some degree, not just others, with such distrust, suspicion, and hostility.”
If there are such high levels of distrust and suspicion of the world, then against the vaccine, made by more traditional technology or more easily tolerated by the body, there may be resistance, Blagoev added.
According to him, however, attitudes towards vaccination are not static and change according to the context.
The sociologist noted that the emphasis should be on involving hesitants who are more inclined to change attitudes.
For understanding the attitudes for vaccination, the usual criteria and distinctions in education, income, location, etc. will hardly be particularly useful, added Dimitar Blagoev.
“There is a paradox that can be seen in the data of Alpha Research: people with higher education are most afraid of the possible long-term consequences of RNA vaccines, and at the same time they are the ones among which RNA vaccination has the greatest real coverage and at least a principled rejection.”
Some of the mass negative attitudes and resistance against vaccination are due to irrational rejection of RNA vaccines, which prevents the achievement of higher immunization levels, said Dimitar Blagoev.
According to him, Novavax’s new conventional protein vaccine should be ordered and purchased because it could become an alternative for people who do not want to be vaccinated with existing vaccines.
“Especially after millions have been spent and millions are to be spent on saliva tests in schools, which Assoc. Prof. Angel Kunchev said some time ago that they are obviously very low sensitivity.”
“If I have to summarize – if the institutions do not work in the public interest, but in the departmental, personal or corporate interest, then this will only fuel the general distrust.”