One Third of Australians Remain Doubtful Over COVID-19 Vaccine

By AAP
May 18, 2021 Updated: May 18, 2021

A poll published by Nine Entertainment indicates that one-third of adult Australians say they are unlikely to be vaccinated against coronavirus due to doubts over the side effects of the vaccines.

Many people also believe there is no rush to take the jab while the international borders remain closed.

The survey found 15 per cent of people said they were not at all likely to receive the vaccine, while another 14 per cent said they were not very likely.

However, Scott Morrison is keen to focus on the more than 70 per cent of people who are happy to have the vaccine.

“I would encourage them to go and make that booking,” he told Newcastle radio 2HD on Wednesday.

“If you are over 50, go and do that with your GP now. The state government is setting up other clinics to do the same thing. So I would just encourage people to get on and do it.”

The prime minister was also keen to point out only a small proportion of those surveyed were “hard against” receiving the jab, saying that was fairly normal with most vaccines.

Mr Morrison said the number of vaccinations in Australia had surpassed three million and continued to climb each day.

“It’s an important part of what we are doing—it’s not the only part of what we are doing—and it’s important we all work together to achieve that,” he said.

The federal government has spent months arguing there is no urgency on vaccines, and more recently, concerns have been raised about the efficacy of the AstraZeneca jab.

Liz Chatwin, the president of AstraZeneca in Australia and New Zealand, has sought to ease concerns among people aged over 50 who feel hesitant about getting the vaccine.

“The AstraZeneca vaccine is highly effective— it has actually been used in tens of millions of people around the world, and in the vast majority of people, it is extremely well tolerated,” she told the ABC.

Chatwin said blood clots linked to the vaccine were extremely rare, with just 18 cases reported in Australia out of 1.8 million vaccinations.

“Those rates are very similar to what have been seen overseas, but the difference here in Australia, the experts are saying, is that the cases appear to be more mild,” she said.

“They are speculating this is because there is high awareness here in Australia, physicians don’t have the huge strain of treating COVID-19 in our healthcare system, so they have been diagnosed earlier and managed really effectively with good outcomes.”

Ms Chatwin said the number of blood clots linked to the vaccine also needed to be put in context.

“Experts have reported there are 50 blood clots every day in Australia from a multitude of different causes, so that just underlines how rare this condition is,” she said.

“I would just encourage people, the only way to end this pandemic is for people to come forward and receive the vaccine that’s offered.

“It’s really not just for ourselves, but it’s for our friends, our family, our neighbours and for the community as a whole.”