Australians Divided Over Whether Vaccine Will End the Pandemic

By AAP
February 3, 2021 Updated: February 4, 2021

As Victoria faces its latest COVID-19 scare, Australians are divided over whether the rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine will bring the pandemic to an end.

Data from Dynata’s Global Consumer Trends Report: Health Edition provided to AAP showed 37 percent of Australians were extremely or very confident that, assuming enough people take the vaccine, it will bring the pandemic to an end.

However, 31 percent said they were not at all or only slightly confident of this.

The survey results surfaced as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed a new case in a Melbourne quarantine hotel worker, who could be carrying a virulent international strain of the virus.

The 26-year-old man has visited numerous shops and public venues across southeast Melbourne since his most recent shift on Friday at the Grand Hyatt, which is one of the quarantine hotels being used by international tennis players arriving for the Australia Open.

Genomic testing is expected to confirm the strain of his virus by February 5.

“Through an abundance of caution, we’re assuming the worst,” Andrews said as he reinstated compulsory face masks and limited household gatherings to 15 across the state.

Victoria and Tennis Australia faced growing criticism for their decision to go ahead with the grand slam, as players arrived from overseas and tested positive for the virus.

The tournament is due to start on Feb. 8.

“We’ll proceed as we can next week,” Andrews said.

In Canberra, Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday brought MP Craig Kelly into line after months of the NSW Liberal backbencher promoting shonky COVID-19 treatments and misinformation on his social media accounts.

“The views expressed by the member for Hughes do not align with my views or the views of the advice that has been provided to me by the chief medical officer,” Morrison told parliament.

The controversial MP met with the prime minister on Wednesday after he was filmed arguing with senior Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek at Parliament House.

Kelly agreed to support the government’s vaccine rollout despite having earlier refused to commit to the jab.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese described the MP’s comments as “dangerous”.

Making a rare comment on the COVID-19 issue, Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe told the National Press Club he would take the vaccine and believed most Australians had a desire to “do the right thing”.

“Certainly some people won’t want to get vaccinated and they will have concerns but I think enough of us will get vaccinated,” Lowe said.

The Dynata survey found once the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available 36 percent of Australians would try to get it “immediately”, while 28 percent would wait until it’s been available for a bit of time.

Six percent said they would never get the vaccine.

More than a quarter of people said COVID-19 vaccination should be a legal requirement.

Paul Osborne in Canberra