Additional relaxations can be implemented if everyone has been vaccinated

May 4th 2021

Large majority of participants in the Big Corona Study think resuming full-time education is a good thing 

Should vaccinated people have more freedom? This topical question was put to the participants of Tuesday’s Big Corona Study. For 63% of respondents, this should be possible when everyone has had the opportunity to get vaccinated.  

The Big Corona Study, an initiative of UAntwerp, in cooperation with UHasselt, KU Leuven, ULB and supported by a financial boost from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), saw its 36th edition on Tuesday 4 May. The bi-weekly questionnaire was completed 20,300 times. The questionnaire still remains highly relevant even after fourteen months. ‘We know that our sample is not fully representative of the Belgian population, but using statistical corrections (info in Dutch) we can still make very meaningful statements’, the scientists involved say. 

A look at the initial analysis: 

  • 63% of participants think that additional relaxations for vaccinated people should be introduced when everyone has had the chance to get vaccinated. For 8%, this is already possible if all people over 65 were vaccinated, 13% want to wait until all people over 40 are vaccinated. 7% don’t want extra relaxations for vaccinated people.  

  • Recently, the Flemish Agency for Care and Health called on people to consider the timing of vaccinations when making holiday plans. That doesn’t seem to be a big problem: 29% say they are not planning a summer holiday, 28.6% say they will be fully vaccinated before going on holiday. 9.5% say they have already booked a trip and will not reschedule it if it coincides with getting vaccinated.  

  • From Monday 10 May onwards, full-time in-person education will resume for the second and third stages of secondary education. About eight in ten parents think this is a good thing, although some are concerned about the risks. The opinions of second and third stage teachers are more divided: here 58% are in favour, while 40% are against. 

  • In higher education, 59% of students think that having more classes on campus can be done safely. 18% also want more classes, but are a bit apprehensive. Among lecturers, 41% think it is safe. 24% are also favour of having more classes on campus, but still have concerns. On the other hand, 11% and 29% of students and lecturers respectively are not in favour of fully resuming classes on campus because of the risks involved. 

  • There is positive news in terms of mental well-being: since the end of March, the curve has been moving in the right direction. We are feeling better and better about ourselves, although young people in particular are still far from the level of mid-July 2020, when the impact of the pandemic was much smaller. Not unexpectedly, vaccinated respondents generally have better mental well-being. Partly because of that, participants over 80 belong to the group with best mental well-being since the start of the crisis.