Only little more than a third of French respondents would take a low-cost COVID-19 vaccine, a Euronews-commissioned survey has revealed.
France is among the worst-hit countries in Europe from the disease, with more than 33,000 deaths as of October 16.
But just 37% of French people questioned would take a low-cost vaccine if it came available in the next year.
This compares starkly to several of France’s neighbours, where a majority say they would get vaccinated.
Respondents in the United Kingdom were keenest, with 63% backing vaccination, followed by Germany (57%) and Italy (55%).
There was also contrast between the quartet when it came to rating their government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
In the UK — the worst-hit country in Europe in terms of deaths — and France, a majority of respondents thought their governments were not taking the right measures to properly address the crisis.
Germany’s government got the best feedback of the four, with 62% approving of its management of the epidemic.
In Italy, 54% of respondents backed their government’s approach.
So what does that mean for officials potentially contemplating a return to the kind of nationwide lockdowns we saw in the spring?
A majority in the UK (58%) and Germany (53%) support another lockdown, but the idea is least popular with respondents in France (38%).
If the pandemic is dividing populations at a national level, what is it doing to hopes for a unified EU approach, as leaders in Brussels have called for?
By significant majorities, Germans and Italians don’t believe the European Union has a common strategy to combat the virus. But just over half the French do see a unity of purpose among EU nations. The issue doesn’t arise in Britain as it’s no longer a member of the bloc.
Overall, the optimism people experienced with the arrival of summer and the lifting of lockdown restrictions seems to be fading amid the relentless daily evidence of rising cases and renewed pressure on public health services.
The surveys were carried out on behalf of Euronews by Rudfield and Wilton. Sample sizes of 1,500 were used in each country.