Most parents also want a vaccine for their children

June 29th 2021

Great Corona Study shows that we are more in touch with each other 

The vast majority of parents, who have already been vaccinated, would have their underage children vaccinated. And we are more in touch with each other again: two findings from a new round of the Great Corona Study. 

Some 14.200 Belgians took the time to participate in the Great Corona Study last Tuesday. This questionnaire is an initiative of UAntwerp, in cooperation with UHasselt, KU Leuven, ULB and supported by a financial boost from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). This was already the fortieth edition. The number of participants is steadily decreasing, of course related to the favourable corona figures, but it remains by far the largest questionnaire of its kind. 

Some initial findings: 

  • Now that the vaccination campaign for those over 18 is on its last legs, vaccinating minors is a topical issue. Among parents who have been vaccinated, there is great willingness to have their children vaccinated as well, if recommended by the Superior Health Council.  

 * 16–17 years: 89% willingness to get vaccinated 

* 12–15 years: 79% willingness to get vaccinated 

* Younger than 12 years: 66% willingness to get vaccinated 

  • All indicators and questions about social distancing show that Belgians have more in-person contact again. For example, 70% of participants in the Great Corona Study say they spent at least one day at the workplace last week. 44% shook hands or gave a kiss to someone outside their household in the past week and 52% of the tests taken in the past two weeks were travel-related (departure or return). 

  • The summer holidays have started. Experts at home and abroad are nevertheless somewhat concerned about people’s travel behaviour. Earlier this week, Germany called Portugal a corona hotspot. Portugal is not among the top seven destinations of respondents this summer: 34% say they will travel to France. Spain (14%) and Italy (12%) complete the top three.  

  • 43% of participants in the Great Corona Study are planning a holiday or day trip abroad. 27% prefer to go on domestic holidays or day trips. 30% of Belgians say they’re not planning a holiday or don’t have plans yet.   

  • Belgium will play the quarterfinals of the UEFA European Football Championship on Friday. 69% of respondents have followed the championship so far. 22% did this with a group, 78% watched the matches at home.  

  • Another current topic is the reduced vaccination time between the first and second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Due to having underlying conditions, a large group of vaccinated people received their first dose of the AZ vaccine in May, but it will take twelve weeks to receive their second dose (i.e. in August, well after their healthier peers have already been fully vaccinated with one of the other vaccines). With the delivery of 700,000 vaccines, they’ve had the option of moving their appointment forward since Thursday, which is desirable for many participants. Being fully vaccinated is important in light of the advancing delta variant, which first appeared in India. Just over half of participants who belong to this more vulnerable target group said they would be more willing to receive their second dose of AZ if it were offered after eight weeks instead of twelve. 2% would prefer a twelve-week interval, while 53% say that the eight-week or twelve-week interval does not affect their willingness to get vaccinated. Given that the efficacy of the AZ vaccine is similar when the second dose is given after eight or twelve weeks, a lower complete vaccination rate of this group in the second half of summer is obviously to be avoided.