Vaccine rollout isn’t going well, say most Australians

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SIXTY-four per cent of Australian adults believe the COVID-19 vaccine roll out is not being handled well, according to a new study from the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods.

Study co-author Prof Nicholas Biddle noted the study’s findings showed clear divisions in people’s attitudes to the vaccine rollout based on political views.

“Those who had said they would vote for a party grouping other than the Coalition were less likely to think the process was going well,” Prof Biddle said. 

“While still under half of the population, 45.3 per cent of those who said they would vote for the Coalition said the vaccine process was going well.

“This declines to 29.9 per cent among Australians who said they would have voted Labor, 27 per cent of those who said they would have voted for the Greens, 33.3 per cent of those who would have voted for an ‘other’ party, and 25 per cent of those who did not know who they would vote for.”

Despite the lack of confidence the study did find more belief in the “fairness” of the vaccine’s distribution, with 33 per cent saying that they thought the rollout was “very fair” and 53 per cent saying it was “somewhat fair”.

The study also found there’s been an increase in the number of Australians who say they would get a “safe and effective vaccine” between January and April 2021.

“When we asked a similar question in January, only 43.7 per cent of Australians said they would definitely get a safe vaccine. This jumped to 54.7 per cent in April,” Prof Biddle said.

“However, this number is still lower compared to August 2020 when we first asked the question, with 58.5 per cent of Australians saying they’d get a safe vaccine at that point in time.”

Sixty-three per cent of those who wouldn’t take the vaccine said it was due to concerns about side effects, with 50.4 per cent highlighting the recent news of blood clotting from the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“In the same group, 31.6 per cent said they didn’t know if the vaccine would work, 26.7 said they didn’t trust covid vaccines and 18.9 per cent said they didn’t trust the Government,” Prof Biddle said.

“These findings are extremely important as the Government attempts to reconcile public sentiment and confidence in its vaccine program at a time when there are questions about how fast it is being delivered across our community.”

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