Support for a coronavirus vaccine is waning in the Netherlands

Support for a coronavirus vaccine is waning in the Netherlands

An investigation conducted by I&O Research on behalf of NOS has revealed that the number of people in the Netherlands who want to receive any future coronavirus vaccine has declined significantly over the last few months. 

Fewer people in the Netherlands want to be vaccinated

With promising results emerging from the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccine trials, it seems that hope of a successful vaccine becoming available over the coming months is growing, not only in the Netherlands but around the world. In spite of these developments, however, it seems that more and more people are wary about being vaccinated.

I&O Research surveyed 1.140 people in the Netherlands asking whether they want to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Since they first conducted the study in June, the number of people in favour of vaccination has decreased from 73 percent to only 59 percent. Notably, if a 100 percent effective vaccine were to be developed, 60 percent of the Netherlands would have to be vaccinated for the virus to disappear.

Participants were asked whether or not they would want to be vaccinated and were given a number of options as answers. The results from the June, September and November surveys are as follows:

  June 2020 September 2020 November 2020
Definitely (zeker wel) 43 percent 34 percent 29 percent
Probably (waarschijlijk wel) 30 percent 31 percent 30 percent
Probably not (waarschijnlijk niet) 8 percent 13 percent 12 percent
Definitely not (zeker niet) 7 percent 8 percent 11 percent
Don't know (weet niet) 13 percent 14 percent 17 percent

Elderly and city-dwellers more supportive of vaccination

The results of the survey suggest that there are a number of aspects that affect a person’s outlook on the vaccine. 


The results of the survey showed that people between the ages of 35 and 49 are the least likely to be vaccinated (only 48 percent were in favour of vaccination), while those over the age of 65 were the most supportive of the vaccine. But even in this age bracket, support is waning - in June, 85 percent indicated they would want to be vaccinated compared to 76 percent in November.

While the Dutch government is yet to announce an official vaccination strategy, the Health Council of the Netherlands has advised that the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions receive the vaccine first. 

Urban vs rural areas

I&O also found that people living in cities were more likely to be vaccinated (64 percent), whereas those living in smaller towns or in the countryside were less in favour of vaccination (52 percent).

Political leaning

Lastly, a person’s political leaning also had a significant impact on their perspective on the vaccine. Those who identified as Forum for Democracy (FvD), Reformed Political Party (SGP), Party for Freedom (PVV), and Party for the Animals (PvdD) voters seem the least enthusiastic about vaccination. 41 percent of FvD voters, 39 percent of PVV voters, and 33 percent of PvdD voters said they (probably or definitely) did not want to be vaccinated, 

Many mistrust the coronavirus vaccines

Of those who stated they (probably or definitely) would not be vaccinated, as many as two-thirds said the vaccine had come around too quickly and so they do not trust it, and almost half said they were afraid of any (significant) side effects, with around 40 percent fearing it will not be (sufficiently) effective. 

For more insight into the results of I&O’s research, or to read the full report, click on the I&O Research website.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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