What is the attitude of workers towards the covid vaccination?

7 December 2021

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We have been living with the Coronavirus epidemic since January 2020 and it has affected every part of our lives. Vaccine development has been accelerated thanks to an unprecedented collaboration within the multinational pharmaceutical industry and governments.

The Covid vaccine is now being rolled out across the world and whilst this has definitely helped to slow down the rate of infections and get life a bit more 'back to normal', it is safe to say that there have been mixed feelings and concerns about it. This is worrying - as negative attitudes towards the vaccines, and an uncertainty or unwillingness to have the vaccination, is potentially a large barrier to managing the pandemic in the long term.

Employee survey

To find out more about people's attitudes to the vaccination, Paylab.com carried out an international survey with a sample of 15871 employees from 7 different countries - Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. 

The survey respondents came from a range of position levels - from unskilled workers to top management; education levels - from those who only got a primary education right through to those with degrees and doctorates; salary levels - a mix of low, mid and high earners; from those under 25 in age to those 55 years and over and from both genders

The employees surveyed were asked to answer the following statements:

  • I am in favour of the vaccination and I am vaccinated
  • I'm against the vaccination
  • I'm hesitant, I'm scared but I am more in favour of the vaccination
  • I'm hesitant, I'm scared but I am more against the vaccination

Are workers in favour of the vaccine?

Looking at the results as a collective, ¾ of all respondents from Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary were all very much for the vaccine and have indeed been vaccinated. The highest response was from the Romanians where 80% of them had had their vaccination and were in favour of it. This is in sharp contrast to Bulgaria where only 41% of respondents agreed with the vaccine and been vaccinated, and just over half (53%) of Croatians were in agreement.

TAB1: Attitude to vaccination of respondents in selected countries

High earners

For employees falling into the highest salary bracket in Slovakia, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovenia - no matter what their job role, education or gender - the vast majority are vaccinated and in support of it.

For the same salary bracket (>9th decile) in Hungary, Croatia and Bulgaria the picture is a little more mixed across the board, with between 33% and 100% of highly paid Hungarians favouring the vaccine, between 50% and 100% of Croatians and between 56% and 100% of Bulgarians being in support of the vaccine.

It is interesting to note that every single one of the respondents over the age of 55 in this highly paid category, across all countries (excluding Bulgaria where there isn't a respondent in this category), are for the vaccine and have themselves been vaccinated.

TAB2: Attitude to vaccination of high earners in selected countries

Low earners

The percentage of respondents displaying the highest level of uncertainty about the vaccine were from those with lower salaries and with lower levels of education. This was the same for all countries apart from Romania - where 100% of unskilled workers are in favour of the vaccine. This is in stark contrast to all of the other countries interviewed. For example, 40% of the lowest paid Hungarians were against the vaccine and 57% of those with lower levels of education were also distrustful. This was a similar scenario across most of the countries - which shows the need for educating, encouraging and addressing the concerns for these categories of people.

TAB3: Attitude to vaccination of low earners in selected countries

Is there a generational divide?

In Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, around ¾ of all the age groups held the same opinion and are for the vaccine - the higher the level of education and the higher the position, the more this result went up. In Slovenia they were a little lower but in Romania these results were even higher with most age groups around 80% in favour. In Bulgaria however, none of the age groups seem to be overwhelmingly in favour of the vaccine. The over 55s in Bulgaria were the most trusting, with 55% of them having had the vaccine so far.

TAB4: Attitude to vaccination of 55+ aged respondents in selected countries


There is a definite difference in attitudes across the seven countries. From the sample of workers interviewed, it seems that overall Romanians have the most positive attitude towards the vaccine while Bulgarians have the lowest opinion.

On the whole males and females in each country have a similar attitude towards the vaccine - there doesn't seem to be any significant gender difference.

The higher the position and the salary across the board, the more positive the reaction to the vaccine; likewise, the higher the level of education, the more trust there seems to be in the vaccination.

Negative attitudes towards vaccines are a major public health concern for Europe and it is important that public health messaging is tailored to address these concerns, particularly for the people with lower levels of education and incomes who are noticeably more distrusting. 

Abi Smith for Paylab.com

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