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Post Are Eastern Europeans Reluctant to Be Vaccinated?
Created by John Eipper on 07/31/21 1:44 PM

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Are Eastern Europeans Reluctant to Be Vaccinated? (Jordi Molins, -Spain, 07/31/21 1:44 pm)

Eugenio Battaglia wrote on July 31st:

"[Italy's] national tourism industry is weeping because Russian tourists are not arriving. There is a reason: the Green Pass is not valid for Russians, as the Sputnik vaccine is not accepted, as per superior orders from the UE and the Empire."

There is a simpler explanation: Russians, Ukrainians and Belarussians are extremely reluctant to get vaccines against Covid.

For example, the East Slavic community in Barcelona is almost unanimously against vaccines. Rumours and conspiracy theories are the status quo opinion for this population. Even at-risk people and those in charge of underage children, reject being vaccinated.

For me and my family, the sudden realization of such an attitude came as a shock, and it has become a source of serious discussions. In the end, life-and-death issues are central to our well being.

The underlying reason for such an attitude is clearly the panic East Slavic people have in relation to their health system, especially those who lived during Communism. I have not been able to find any other reason for such an attitude.

I would highly appreciate the input of Cameron Sawyer on this issue, since I cannot believe what I see here in Barcelona is "noise" and not representative of East Slavic countries.

JE comments:  I'd like to pursue this more.  I found a legitimate-looking statistic as of July 1st that ranks European nations by vaccination rate.  The usual suspects are not what you'd expect:  the top two countries are...Malta and Hungary.  Spain is in a respectable fifth place.  Yes, Russia is rock-bottom at 12%, and Belarus and Ukraine don't even appear on the list.  But what about the penultimate country, the rich and "Western" Ireland?  And happy Norway, at #26, is anything but impressive--if vaccination rates are what impress you.

Good for Malta, I say.  Click below and scratch your head:


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  • Ireland's Covid Vaccination Rates (Patrick Mears, -Germany 08/01/21 3:51 AM)
    I woke up early (5:15 AM here) and just read Jordi Molins's new post and John E's comments. So I took a look at today's online Irish Times and here is the issue's headline story about Ireland's vaccination rate that you and other WAISers might like to see.


    JE comments:  I retract my earlier reprimand--can Ireland really have gone from 20% to 72% in one month (July)?  Compare the above with the stat I published yesterday:


    Something here doesn't add up, though I'm more inclined to trust the Irish Times.  Lies, damned lies, statistics.  For comparison, the US "fully vaccinated" rate presently stands at an even 50%.

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  • Vaccine Passes and Travel: France (Carmen Negrin, -France 08/01/21 4:23 AM)
    You do need a vaccination pass to get on a plane and to go to certain places. For instance, I have used it to go to Spain and to the South of France, also to enter museums and to go to concerts. Given the circumstances, I find it totally normal and reassuring and it doesn't prevent me from wearing a mask in a shop or a crowded space.

    I don't know much about the Russian Sputnik vaccine, but I know about the Chinese vaccine, given left and right in Chile. This didn't prevent the Chileans from having a high second wave in Covid cases, after their last summer, simply because people felt free to travel to Miami and Brazil in particular, with no other precautions and weren't properly covered.

    JE comments:  My Chilean host brother Guillermo is the closest call of all my loved ones in the Covid pandemic:  he nearly died earlier this summer (winter for them).  Happily he is home and fully recovered.  I never thought to ask him if he had the Chinese vaccine, or none at all.

    Everyone's biggest fear:  a new surge with the Delta (D for "dreaded") variant.  Would/will this be the fourth wave?

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    • Brazil Accepts Chinese Help with Covid Vaccines (Tor Guimaraes, USA 08/03/21 5:15 AM)
      Carmen Negrín (August 1st) mentioned Brazil in her post about Covid vaccine administration. In Brazil, after a disgusting start managing the pandemic in a similar denial fashion as the Trump administration, Mr. Bolsonaro finally accepted Chinese help with widespread vaccination.

      The city of Serrana, close to my original home town, is now advanced as an example of success for the Chinese vaccine Sinovac, because the whole town was vaccinated and it stopped the virus dead in its tracks in terms of need for hospitalization and deaths. Given the strong possibility of virus mutations, it is hard to guess what will happen next, but after Pfizer's attempts to gouge developing countries, China is coming out as a better choice.

      The top Russian vaccine, Sputnik (seems like a better name for a psychedelic drug) started the race ahead but seems to be in the doldrums in terms of worldwide implementation. Supposedly many people have seen no strong evidence for adoption in contrast with the increasing number of alternatives.

      JE comments:  Tor, when time permits, could you send us some forecasts for the next round of presidential elections, slated for October 2022?  Any chance Bolsonaro could be re-elected?  Or will Lula return to power?

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      • Will Lula Return to Power in 2022? (Tor Guimaraes, USA 08/05/21 4:17 AM)
        John Eipper asked me, "Could you send us some forecasts for Brazil's next round of presidential elections, slated for October 2022? Any chance Bolsonaro could be re-elected? Or will Lula return to power?"

        Unfortunately in this case, my crystal ball is too cloudy for strong opinions. The evidence from Brazil indicates a situation eerily similar to the last election in the US. In the eyes of most Brazilians Bolsonaro seems to be as crazy and incompetent as Trump. He also has a significant percentage of diehard supporters who could easily "rationalize" any outrageous act. Bolsonaro also seems to have significant support within the military.

        Lula must know something I don't know, because he is playing like he expects to be able to run again in 2022. Assuming he is able to run freely, he would probably win despite his old warts.

        Thus, with so many ifs, my crystal ball is presently very murky for Brazil.

        JE comments: I respect your caution, Tor. Brazilian politics is a full-contact sport.  Forecasting the outcomes is probably a fool's game.  Wasn't Bolsonaro himself a political unknown when he burst on the scene?  For Lula's part, his conviction was overturned earlier this summer (how did that happen?), which allows him to return to the political circus.

        Our colleague in Brasilia, David Fleischer, closely follows Brazilian politics.  David, can you weigh in?

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  • Europe's Vaccination Rates: Island Nations Do Best (Mendo Henriques, Portugal 08/02/21 4:18 AM)
    Answering to John Eipper about vaccination rates in Europe:


    Here's the situation as of July 26th:

    Islands do better (Malta 1st, Iceland 2nd, Britain, 3rd).

    Middle-size countries (Belgium, Denmark, Portugal) are in the next tier.

    Big countries (Italy, France, Germany) come lower on the list.

    Eastern Europe is in bad shape.

    Good health to all.

    I'll post a short note of a one-week vacation around Florence.

    JE comments:  Enjoy Florence, Mendo!  Look forward to your report.  Are tourism rates more or less back to normal, or is the absence of Russians being felt?

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