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Survey shows Aussies who will forgo a COVID-19 jab

Six per cent of Australians are certain they won’t get a COVID-19 jab once one is made available.

An Australian National University survey of 3,000 Aussie adults also revealed another seven per cent feel they will probably not get the vaccine.

The majority surveyed (58.5 per cent) said they will be sure to join the vaccine queue. About three in ten (28.7 per cent) said they were likely to join them but were still unsure.

Study co-author Associate Professor Ben Edwards said overall there are significant levels of vaccine hesitancy or resistance across the country.

"We found females, those living in disadvantaged areas, those who reported that risks of COVID-19 were overstated, and those who had more populist views and higher levels of religiosity were more likely to be hesitant or resistant to a vaccine," Edwards said.

"In contrast, those who had higher levels of household income, those who had higher levels of social distancing, who downloaded the COVID-Safe App, who had more confidence in their state or territory government or confidence in their hospitals, or were more supportive of migration were more likely to intend to get vaccinated."

Older adults were more likely to want to get it that other age groups. People with an undergraduate or postgraduate university degree were less likely than Australians with a Year 12 qualification only to be resistant or hesitant to a vaccine.

Edwards said vaccine hesitancy might be addressed through public health messaging.

"But for a significant minority of the population with strongly held beliefs, alternative policy measures may well be needed to achieve sufficient vaccination coverage to end the pandemic." 

The findings were released days before the University of Oxford announced its vaccine was highly effective.

The preliminary data indicated that the vaccine is 70.4 per cent effective, with tests on two different dose regimes showing that the vaccine was 90 per cent effective if administered at a half dose and then at a full dose or 62 per cent effective if administered in two full doses.

Professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of the Oxford vaccine trial, said: “These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many lives.

“Excitingly, we’ve found that one of our dosing regimens may be around 90 per cent effective and if this dosing regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply.”

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