Queensland Remains Highest Australian State for Vaccine Hesitancy

By Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia, with a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him at caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au
December 15, 2021 Updated: December 15, 2021

The Melbourne Institute’s vaccine hesitancy tracker has revealed that Queensland remains the most hesitant state in Australia towards the COVID-19 vaccines.

The data was released as the national fully vaccinated rate nears 90 percent, with the Melbourne Institute concluding that the rate might not go higher because the fall in hesitancy is slowing across all age groups.

Nationally, vaccine hesitancy is currently at 9.6 percent, compared to 11.5 percent two weeks ago. The think tank said it had mistakenly reported that the previous vaccine hesitancy rate two weeks ago was 6.4 percent.

The figures for vaccine hesitancy are made up of the combined rates for those who said they were “not willing” and those who “don’t know” if they’ll get one of the available COVID-19 vaccines.

Queensland remains the highest ranked state for vaccine hesitancy, at 14.2 percent, following by Western Australia at 12.2 percent.

Both states are run by Labor governments and have avoided the large outbreaks seen in New South Wales and Victoria by closing their borders to interstate travellers from COVID-19 hotspots.

Hesitancy in South Australia is at 11.8 percent and Victoria, which has endured some of the longest and strictest lockdowns, is at 7.3 percent.

Around 25 percent—or one in four—Australians in general are also hesitant to receive COVID-19 vaccine boosters, according to data from the recent Taking the Pulse of the Nation survey which is conducted every two weeks with 1,200 Australians aged over 18.

Nationally, 6.1 percent of Australians are not willing to get one of the available COVID-19 vaccines.

This figure is split by age groups, with the largest cohort being 45 to 65 year-olds (7 percent), followed by 18 to 44 year-olds (6.7 percent), then over 65s (3.5 percent).

There was less hesitancy for men (5.5 percent) than women (7.3 percent), with more women saying they were more certain of their choice at present.

“Hesitancy in Queensland is melting away everyday. We see people getting vaccinated everyday,” Queensland Chief Health Officer John Gerrard told reporters on Thursday.

“The numbers are climbing and I think as we see more cases I think we’ll see it melt away even further.”

The state’s health minister reported 22 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with 18 who had been active in the community. Two of those were detected in home quarantine and another two in hotel quarantine.

The majority of the news cases were detected in the state’s southeast, but also included Townsville in the north.

The new cases were expected after the state reopened its border to vaccinated domestic travellers on Monday, with most of the virus cases being brought in from interstate.

In the last 24 hours, over 17,000 Queenslanders have been vaccinated, the health minister said.

“That shows that we are seeing an increase in people coming forward for their first boosters, which is fantastic,” Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.

“But also a good number of people coming forward for their first doses.”

Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia, with a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him at caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au