Australia’s international borders may not open until 2023 because 30% of Australians say they WON’T get vaccinated
- 30 per cent of Australians unlikely to get coronavirus jab, according to new poll
- Reasons include access to vaccine, side affects and Australia’s closed borders
- Nation may not reach target of five out of six adults fully jabbed until late 2022
- May delay plans to reopen borders for international travel beyond mid-2022
The delay in opening Australia’s borders could stretch into 2023 as the country’s slow vaccine rollout meets a new hurdle – the resistance of people to getting a jab due to health fears and the lack of urgency in a Covid-free environment.
A new poll has shown that almost a third of Australians do not intend to get the vaccine, some due to alarming reports of rare resultant blood clots and other side effects, and others seeing no incentive so long as the government bans international travel even to those who have had a jab.
In the Budget last week, the government forecast international travel could get back to normal in the second half of 2022, but that was based on just about all adult Australians being vaccinated by the end of this year.
The new poll suggests that will not happen, and the goal of having five out of six adults fully jabbed could be more than a year away.
According to the new Resolve Strategic poll, 15 per cent of adults surveyed said they were ‘not at all likely’ and 14 per cent ‘not very likely’ to be vaccinated.
Around 29 per cent Australians say they’re not likely to get the coronavirus jab, according to a new poll. Pictured are nurses preparing jabs at a vaccination centre in Perth
Concerns about side effects are the biggest reason while Australia’s closed borders until mid-2022 are also a factor in not being rush to join the vaccination queue.
‘The problem is partly the practical access to vaccines, partly a nervousness about side effects and partly a risk judgement about whether they need to be vaccinated given the low risk right now,’ Resolve director Jim Reed told the Sydney Morning Herald.
About 14 per cent of Australian surveyed said they were ‘extremely likely’ to get the jabbed with another 13 per cent ‘fairly likely’ while eight per cent are ‘very likely.’
Australia must dramatically ramp up its vaccination program if it wants to reach its target of five in six adults fully vaccinated by the end of this year.
At the current rate of vaccination, that target will not be met until November next year, according to the Blueprint Institute.
International travel may remain off limits for longer unless Australia’s vaccination program is ramped up. Pictured is a traveller at Sydney International Airport
Australia has delivered 3.1 million vaccine shots, representing a rate of 12,000 per 100,000 people.
That is dwarfed by other comparable nations – the UK has done 84,000 per 100,000 people, the United States 82,000 and Israel 122,000 as most have had one jab and are awaiting a second.
‘For us to fully vaccinate five in six adults by the end of the year, we’d need to match that pace by the second week of August,’ Blueprint Institute policy and economics researcher Luke Heeney told The Australian.
‘If we wait until the final quarter to do so, the rollout will blow into 2022, finishing in February at the earliest. Given this, a closed border until mid-2022 is not a crazy proposition.’
The think tank’s chief economist Steven Hamilton described the current rate of Australia’s program as very slow and believes it won’t rapidly ramp up until later in the year due to vaccine supplies.
‘We need to prepare for a massive influx of doses later in the year. The big unknown that we don’t know about yet is how many Australians are going to be vaccine hesitant,’ Mr Hamilton said.
Australia may not reach its won’t reach its vaccination target until November next year, which could delay reopening of international travel. Pictured are travellers at Sydney International Airport