A government-requested survey says the government has generally done well with its coronavirus measures, with most respondents saying they are well informed enough about the measures, and nearly two thirds saying they would take a coronavirus vaccine once one were available to them.
The survey, conducted in the second week of January by pollsters Turu-uuringute, found a similar number of respondents, 66 percent, saw the current situation as critical, a figure largely unchanged from similar polls conducted in November and December.
The 63 percent who said they were open to getting a vaccine includes those who are fully decided, and those who have not fully made up their minds but would probably get inoculated (roughly a 50-50 split).
Sixteen percent were undecided, but would probably not get a vaccine, while 15 percent said they definitely would not have the injection, for whatever reason.
Vaccine awareness is reportedly highest in the worst-affected areas, Tallinn and Harju County, and Ida-Viru County, BNS reports.
Turu-uuringute: Elderly more likely to view situation as critical
That said, the apparent extent to which Ida-Viru County residents have become accustomed to higher infection rates in fact has led to them becoming somewhat less fearful of the situation, Turu-uuringute says, twinned with the arrival of the first batches of COVID-19 vaccines.
Breakdown by age sees around 90 percent of those aged 75 or more viewing the situation as critical, compared with less than 60 percent in the 25-34 age group, Turu-uuringute says.
By gender, 72 percent of women respondents saw not adhering to restrictions and recommendations could lead to a wider viral spread, compared with 59 percent of men respondents.
Pollsters: We changed our methodology so rise in those who would get COVID-19 vaccine should be viewed with that in mind
The mid-December equivalent survey saw 50 percent of respondents say they would get the vaccination, but Turu-uuringute says it has changed its methodology in compiling the research, since then. The arrival of the first vaccines at Christmas time also post-dated that survey.
Reasons for note taking a vaccine included fear of side effects and lack of information.
The survey found little change in those who said they regularly used face-masks where required, at 90 percent, while around half respondents said they were well-informed, and 42 percent saying they were largely informed, about the regulations and restrictions – again unchanged from the previous month.
Government-ordered poll: Restrictions still largely supported
Support for stricter restrictions has fallen from about 50 percent to a little over 40 percent, while the proportion of those who see the current restrictions as adequate, at a little under 40 percent, remains largely unchanged.
Support for easing restrictions has risen slightly from 12 to 16 percent, though travel restirctions on visitors from outside Estonia, and restrictions on entertainment outlets, remain well supported, Turu-uuringute says.
The survey was commissioned by the government office and conducted by Turu-uuringute AS January 8-10. The relevant ministry is the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Social affairs minister Tanel Kiik (Center) said Friday evening that vaccine provider Pfier/BioNTech has unilaterally halved supplies of its doses to be expected in January, to about 7,000, meaning the pace of vaccines will slow down. This is not confined to Estonia – the vaccine procurement process is pan-EU and overseen by the European Commission, which says that the delays will not affect the EU as a whole.
All three Baltic States plus Finland and Sweden have addressed the commission with their concerns.
Editor: Andrew Whyte