The link to Vox Pop Labs that doesn’t help their cause lol – Mick Raven
It was a moment millions of Australians had been waiting for.
On Sunday, 84-year-old Jane Malysiak rolled up her sleeve as a nurse readied a syringe and delivered her Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine — a vaccine that less than 12 months ago experts predicted could take “years” to make.
As of Friday, the Federal Government said almost 23,000 Australians had been given first injections of the Pfizer jab (there is no running tally, yet).
The early days have been slow going — and in the next weeks it will continue to be.
From then, public health experts predict as many as 200,000 people a day will need to receive the jab for the government to keep its promise of vaccinating all Australians who want it by October.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said there would be “hiccups” along the way — and so far there have been two big ones.
On Friday it was revealed more than 120 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine were thrown out “out of an abundance of caution” after a possible storage error at a nursing home in Melbourne.
And on Wednesday another one, in the form of a doctor delivering an excessive amount of vaccine.
The experts have since called for calm, with the two Queensland aged cage residents involved showing no ill effects, and the AMA saying that the most significant harm resulting from the incident was likely to be that “a few doses of the vaccine had been wasted”.
Yet it did raise questions about the readiness of the country for this massive logistical exercise — the biggest in public health Australia has ever seen.
Despite the early hiccups, an exclusive survey conducted for the ABC shows that the vast majority of Australians have utmost trust in our health professionals to deliver the vaccine.
The survey, conducted over five days and finishing on Tuesday — before the excess dosage incident and storage errors were revealed — shows 65 per cent of Australians have “a great deal of trust” in healthcare professionals, with 24 per cent having a “moderate trust”.
Trust in health care workers
How much trust do you have in the health care providers administering the COVID-19 vaccines?
Only 8 per cent said they had “little trust” or “no trust at all”.
According to University of Sydney vaccine acceptance researcher and World Health Organization adviser Julie Leask, the numbers around trust of healthcare providers are “pivotal”.
“It is particularly important to vaccine acceptance at a national level,” Professor Leask said.
“When people make vaccination decisions they ask themselves who’s telling me this? And do I trust them? — particularly when they’re navigating around the uncertainty.
“And looking at the numbers I guess 8 per cent [with no or little trust] is not to be sneezed at, but it is still relatively small. But then again I’m glad to see 89 per cent feel the opposite.”
According to the survey, there is still confusion over where Australians need to go to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them.
When asked how accessible vaccine services are in your area, 43 per cent of Australians said they “don’t know”.
How accessible are vaccination services in your area?
“Now this is really interesting,” Professor Leask said.
“It makes we wonder that people are thinking it’s going to be hard to get the vaccine or they can’t imagine how or when they’ll get it.
“And is being rolled into their intention to get the vaccine.
“I think the Government now, right now, needs [to] focus [on] communicating to the public with clear language, where to look out for their invitation to get the vaccine and how to book an appointment — getting them to imagine and plan that process.”
Professor Leask said it was likely many people making up the 43 per cent in the “don’t know” column would not have a yearly flu vaccine, and are unsure about the process.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said this week 4,600 general practices have been approved to deliver the vaccine in phase 1b of the rollout, which starts in late March. It is thousands more than what the government had aimed for.
The government has said all GPs have been notified and they will now have to register and complete the three-hour training, in what Mr Hunt’s office described as an “ongoing process”.
It is understood once that process is complete, most Australians will have a better idea of when they’ll be notified it is their turn as the rollout ramps up from April.
As the vaccine rollout gathers pace across the world, some Australians have, understandably, started pondering the return of international travel and the opening of Australia’s borders.
Qantas this week announced it expects international travel to resume more broadly at the end of October when the national vaccine rollout is scheduled to be completed.
The airline is currently planning to offer flights to 22 of its 25 pre-COVID international destinations, including Los Angeles, London, Singapore and Johannesburg.
Experts have since quashed that idea, calling it unrealistic — and according to the survey, most Australians agree.
It found 42 per cent are “not at all confident” that a COVID-19 vaccine will allow international travel in 2021.
Only 12 per cent are “very confident”.
How confident are you that getting a COVID-19 vaccine will allow you to travel overseas again?
Interestingly, women are less confident than men on the question of international travel, with 46 per cent not at all confident, compared to 37 per cent of men.
On the contentious issue of airlines, such as Qantas, making it mandatory for travellers to have a COVID-19 vaccine before flying, most Australians are on the side of the flying kangaroo.
The survey found 70 per cent “strongly agree” and 14 per cent “somewhat agree”.
Airlines should require international travellers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before they arrive in Australia
Of those surveyed, 82 per cent of people aged 65 and over “strongly agreed”, compared to 57 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds.
The full results of the ABC’s survey, conducted by Vox Pop Labs and which was partly informed by the work of the World Health Organizations Work Behavioural and Social Drivers of Vaccination working group, will be revealed next week.
This survey, conducted by Vox Pop Labs, helps reflect the opinions of a much larger sample of the population.
Using 1,376 respondents, it has a margin of error of plus-minus 2.64 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
All data has been weighted on the basis of sex, age, education level, state and vote choice in the 2019 Federal election, to provide a nationally representative sample of the Australian population.
So who is Vox Pop Labs? – Mick Raven
And of course the link that goes nowhere – Mick Raven