Aussies hesitant, but most say they would take virus vaccine

Most Australians plan to get vaccinated against the coronavirus once it’s available, but new surveys also show hesitancy in the community.

Nov 20, 2020, updated Nov 20, 2020
Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt says the virus jab is performing strongly in the UK. (Photo: AP: Ted S. Warren)

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt says the virus jab is performing strongly in the UK. (Photo: AP: Ted S. Warren)

Australian National University analysis released on Friday shows close to three-in-five people would get the jab, while six per cent definitely won’t and another seven per cent probably won’t.

The survey of 3000 adults in August found females, people living in disadvantaged areas, those with more populist views and stronger religious beliefs were more likely to be hesitant to get vaccinated.

A separate survey of 1000 Australians found the same amount – six per cent – wouldn’t get the vaccine.

The Dynata data also shows one in three would get the vaccine immediately after it’s available while the same number would wait to speak to their doctor and only take it if recommended.

The Australian government has four vaccine deals on the table as well as access to 25 potential vaccines through an international agreement.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said all up, it would be enough to vaccinate Australia three times over.

“Our expectation remains that the first vaccines will be provided to health workers and subject to approvals, to the elderly in March and then we’ll progressively roll out around the country,” he told Adelaide radio 5AA on Thursday.

The government’s goal is to have all Australians who choose to be vaccinated to have the jab by the end of next year.

It comes as Adelaide’s Parafield cluster was revised down to 22 infections late on Thursday, the state’s first day of its strict six-day lockdown.

One case previously linked to the cluster had since been excluded from state’s coronavirus numbers, SA Health said.

Another 17 people are suspected to have the disease and are waiting for test results.

It is believed the cluster began from the hotel quarantine system after a cleaner caught the virus from a surface and infected her family members.

Melbourne’s deadly outbreak also spread after the virus escaped from hotel quarantine.

Moves are in place to ensure hotel quarantine workers are tested weekly.

Western Australia’s government is finalising legal directions to enforce mandatory virus testing for hotel quarantine workers but has no plans to stop security guards from taking up other jobs.

Victoria has flagged that its revamped hotel quarantine program will require all workers to either work for the government or be exclusively contracted to facilities.

An inquiry into Victoria’s regime recommended people not work across multiple environments.

The state has closed its border with South Australia for 48 hours, after fragments of COVID-19 were detected in wastewater along freight corridors.

A permit system will then come into effect from Sunday.

Queensland, WA, Tasmania and the NT have also restricted travel by South Australians.

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