People who discourage others from having a coronavirus vaccine are widely considered “selfish” and “stupid”, according to a survey of public attitudes.
More than four in 10 Britons (41%) think people who discourage the public from getting vaccinated are stupid, research by King’s College London (KCL) and Ipsos Mori found.
A third think this group is selfish and one in six (17%) go as far as saying “anti-vax” campaigners are bad people.
And 31 per cent think people who would refuse a vaccine are stupid while a quarter think they are selfish.
Experts warned this may hinder efforts to persuade those who are reluctant to get the jab, and called for people with doubts to be engaged with, not dismissed or denigrated.
The research is based on 2,244 interviews with UK residents aged 16-75, carried out online between November 20 and 24.
Anna Quigley, head of health research at Ipsos Mori Public Affairs, said: “If we want to convince people to get the vaccine when they are reluctant, we need to engage with them constructively. This will be challenging, given almost a third of Britons believe that those who refuse a Covid-19 vaccine are stupid.”