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The Dutch have very diverse ideas about restrictions and vaccination

The Lifelines coronabarometer.nl provides information about the views of various sections of the population
08 December 2020

The Dutch have very different ideas about what constitutes useful COVID-19 guidance, and they treat the measures with differing levels of compliance. These are the findings of the large-scale Lifelines Corona Research, an initiative of the University of Groningen, UMCG and Lifelines. Since March, some 40,000 participants have filled in a detailed questionnaire 15 times. The results have now been published on the revised coronabarometer.nl, where they are also clarified per sub-group. Amongst other things, they show that the sense of solidarity with others is dropping, particularly among highly qualified people. In addition, men are more willing to be vaccinated than women.

Fewer people with families willing to be vaccinated

A small minority (11%) of the respondents say that they are not willing to be vaccinated, while 41% answered ‘yes’ to the question of whether they would accept a vaccination. Highly qualified people are slightly more inclined to be vaccinated than people with lower-level qualifications. Adults with children are considerably less inclined to get vaccinated: 32% answered ‘yes’ to the question of whether they would accept a vaccination. The results also show that men appear to be more willing to be vaccinated (51%) than women (35%). The group that is the least willing to accept a vaccination consists of women with low-level qualifications and a family that still lives at home: Only 24% of them say that they are willing to be vaccinated. But this has nothing to do with a lack of confidence in the government’s strategy: this group also has faith in the government.

Lude Franke
Lude Franke

Insight into the group of vaccination sceptics

The data from Lifelines shows clear characteristics relating to the group of vaccination sceptics. ‘We can use this information to start targeted public information campaigns designed to waylay doubts among this group. In this way, the government could communicate effectively to increase people’s willingness to get vaccinated in the Netherlands’, says Lude Franke, Professor of Genetics at the UMCG.

People with lower-level qualifications feel more solidarity

Very few people with lower-level qualifications work from home (15%) because their jobs are mostly (64%) not suitable for home working. One of the advantages of this is that people with lower-level qualifications often feel a greater level of social solidarity (57%). This does not apply to highly qualified people, 49% of whom work from home and feel less social solidarity with others (50%). A worrying development is that the level of solidarity that people experience has systematically dropped in every section of the population: the average in April was 70%, whereas now it is 52%. But despite the fact that highly qualified people experience less solidarity with others, they still give their lives a higher report mark than their contemporaries with lower levels of qualifications. This is contrary to retired people; the level of qualifications has no effect on the way that this group perceives happiness in their lives.

Different ideas about the restrictions

Some 89% of people with lower-level qualifications support the measure to close the bars and restaurants. This figure is higher among highly qualified people (94%). People tend to see sports competitions and events differently: only 70% of people with low-level qualifications support the cancellation of these large-scale events, while more highly qualified people support this measure (85%). In general, people have faith in the government’s COVID-19 approach, with the exception of single men between the ages of 30 and 50 with low-level qualifications: over a quarter of this group (27%) say that they have no faith whatsoever in the government’s strategy.

Compliance with the restrictions

People’s behaviour differs greatly between the groups: 17% of single men over the age of 65 with low-level qualifications still shake hands, while just 1% of highly educated young people do this. At the same time, fewer young people comply with the 1.5-metre rule (76%) than older people (91%).

These results show that the various groups of the population have very different approaches to the COVID-19 restrictions. All of this information is available on the www.coronabarometer.nl website, which can be customized to suit your personal preferences.

Last modified:16 December 2020 1.09 p.m.
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