A study conducted in December 2020 by TheCareSide, a home healthcare provider in Australia, found that a majority of the respondents anticipated receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The survey saw 1122 Australians being interviewed to find out more about acceptance levels of the COVID-19 vaccine among the general public in Australia, with 69% of them interested in getting vaccinated.

“Our research suggests the country is in a strong position as the vaccines roll out. The overwhelming majority of Australians plan to get vaccinated and believe the national government has done a good job of managing the pandemic so far. This is good news for the whole country, but especially for the elderly and other vulnerable groups. The government's ongoing communication strategy will be critical to ensure that there's trust in the safety and efficacy of the vaccines,” said Gareth Mahon, CEO of CareSide.

WHY IT MATTERS

The elderly expressed the most interest in getting inoculated, with more than three out of four of them planning to do so. Young adults aged between 18 and 39 also demonstrated similar levels of interest, with 71% of them planning to receive the vaccine. For respondents aged 40-64 years old, the results indicated that only 57% of them wanted to receive the vaccine.

In addition to the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines which have been officially approved for use in Australia in February 2021, ten other vaccines have also been approved globally. Australia has also fared relatively well in comparison to the majority of other developed countries, with only 29,000 diagnosed cases and 900 deaths in total so far.

79% of the participants also felt that the steps taken by the Australian government were effective in the handling of the COVID-19 situation. This sentiment was similar across all the ages groups – with 79% of those aged 18-39, 80% of those aged 40-64 and 73% of those 65 and older in agreement.

THE LARGER TREND

In a poll conducted by the University of Michigan during the final months of 2020, the results showed that nearly half of the older adults indicated that they were unsure about receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. However, in a subsequent poll, there was a huge shift in their attitudes, with 71% of respondents aged 50 and above indicating that they are willing to be inoculated. The results are consistent with the survey conducted by The CareSide, with older persons being more receptive to the vaccine as they are the most vulnerable to it.

ON THE RECORD

“Overcoming a global pandemic is as once in a generation challenge. It requires leadership at the macro level from the Australian government and international organizations like the WHO. But that alone isn't enough. It necessitates a community-wide effort from schools, local businesses, and volunteers. We all play a role – Australians have committed to prioritizing each others’ well-being over the last year,” said Gareth.

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