Italians divided over coronavirus vaccine according to survey.
Almost one in two Italians - 41 per cent to be exact - say they would be unwilling to opt for the covid-19 vaccine once it becomes available, reports Italian news agency ANSA.
The figure is the result of a survey carried out by EngageMinds HUB of the Università Cattolica whose researchers interviewed 1,000 Italians, representative of the entire Italian population, in mid-May.
More than four of 10 Italians rated their inclination to get the vaccine as "not at all probable" or between "probable and not probable," while 59 per cent of Italians declared themselves very likely or reasonably likely to go for the vaccine.
The result comes despite experts saying that mass vaccination is the best bet to achieve a permanent solution to the coronavirus pandemic.
The survey shows little variation between regions or professions, however it does reveal that pensioners and students are the most likely to get vaccinated, with those aged between 35 and 49 being the least enthusiastic.
Professor Guendalina Graffigna, director of EngageMinds, told Italian newspaper La Repubblica that the results were a "wake-up call" which showed the need for an urgent "education and awareness campaign" to help people understand the importance of getting vaccinated against covid-19.
Graffigna said that it "is not just a matter of diffusing information or fighting fake news about vaccines" but of addressing the concerns of those who are against the idea, opening up a "constructive dialogue between science and citizenship."