Europeans are waiting for a vaccine which they see as the only solution for protecting themselves against a coronavirus pandemic that has changed health, environment and socioeconomic balances all over the world.
European countries began vaccinating their citizens in December last year, but the process has progressed slowly due to a lack of logistics and personnel. Although the slow process has caused doubts and concerns, it has not changed people’s desire to be vaccinated as soon as possible.
Anadolu Agency spoke to people on the streets of Spain, Germany and Bulgaria on their governments’ approach to vaccination planning.
In the Spanish capital of Madrid, Paz, who is over 60 years old and did not want to reveal her last name, said she has not been vaccinated yet because vaccinations have stopped in Madrid.
“I don’t know when will I get vaccinated. Vaccination has stopped in Madrid because we ran out of vaccines. This shows the government is not able to manage this process,” she said.
Paz said vaccination will not end all the problems as social distancing and wearing masks will continue for a long time, and it will take much longer to mend the socio-economic effects of the pandemic.
“[Local] politicians have shown poor management so far in the vaccination process. I think all health care services should be expropriated and held by the central government until the pandemic ends,” said Eduardo, 66.
Elena, from a young age group, said: “Who knows when we will get to be vaccinated?”
"The government says that 70% of the population will be vaccinated by the end of the summer, but I don’t believe it. I think it will be the case in October or November,” she said.
“According to some scientific studies I’ve read, very few people will be immunized by autumn. But I’m ready. I will get vaccinated as soon as it is available.”
It was noteworthy that in Germany, in addition to those who want to be vaccinated, there are also those who have opposing views, especially among young people.
An elderly woman named Lotza who lives in the city of Cologne said: "I want to get vaccinated. Although I think it will take some time, I believe that I will be vaccinated this year.”
Paula, on the other hand, said she lost her job due to the pandemic.
"I do not believe in the vaccine. I’m not going to get the vaccine. I don’t believe it will be beneficial,” she said.
Christa Shaffmann, 74, said she has allergies and does not want to get vaccinated until there are enough studies about vaccines and people with allergies.
“I heard that the vaccine is not good for those in my situation. I'll wait until a vaccine suitable for allergy sufferers is developed. Until then, I will protect myself.”
A small business owner in Germany, Sakir Toprak, said the pandemic caused loss of business and income.
“We want to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Shops are closed, people are uncomfortable.”
Evgeniya Manolova, who lives in Bulgaria's capital, Sofia, said: "This would have had positive results if the EU had provided the vaccines on time as originally planned.”
“Now it is said that there is a delay. So the promises made to us are slowly falling through.”
She said she has allergies and is hesitant about getting the vaccine.
Meanwhile, Iveta Balevsksa said the only way to end the pandemic is to get vaccinated.
“Vaccination will limit the spread of the pandemic not only in Bulgaria, but all over the world. But there are problems with access to vaccines both in Bulgaria and in Europe,” said Balevsksa.
Production and distribution are limited. There are delays. Despite everything, we need to be optimistic. I hope the vaccine will be easier to obtain by summer.”