Almost one third of adults in Australia say they are unlikely or very unlikely to be vaccinated against COVID-19, alarming new figures show.
According to a poll published by Nine Entertainment, 15 per cent of people said they were “not at all likely” to get vaccinated, and 14 per cent said they were “not very likely” to be vaccinated. Meanwhile, just 14 per cent said they were “extremely likely” to get the jab.
It found that some people believe there is no rush to get vaccinated while the international borders remain closed, and that there were concerns around possible side effects.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has not put a target or deadline on the vaccine rollout, and currently, there isn’t a major ad campaign that encourages Australians to get the vaccine if they are eligible.
How come there is no national campaign telling people to get vaccinated? I’ve literally seen more marketing for @HamiltonMusical than I have for public health.— Leigh Sales (@leighsales) May 18, 2021
Meanwhile, figures produced by the Blueprint Institute show that at the current vaccination rate, Australia will only vaccinate 5 of every 6 adults by 2023.
On Monday, this was the number of adults NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian indicated she would like to be vaccinated in the state before the international border was opened.
“The UK, US, EU and Canada are currently rolling out vaccinations around three times quicker than Australia,” said Luke Heeney, a researcher at Blueprint Institute. “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.”
This week, it was confirmed by Health Minister Greg Hunt that fewer than 5 per cent of people with a disability in residential care in Australia have received a vaccine, totaling just 999 people as of midday on Monday.
Speaking to The Drum, CEO and founder of the Disability Leadership Institute Christina Ryan, said she was not surprised this was the case, as people with disabilities are so often left behind by the government, despite their vulnerability.
“It’s possible because disabled people are really good at being forgotten by government. We’re shut away, we’re not visible,” Ryan said.
“There are five million disabled people in this country; we are the single, largest minority. Not all of those people are in 1A or 1B, but a lot of them are. We are being prevented from engaging.
“Until we are vaccinated, we are stuck and we become invisible and government forgets about us.”
#ICYMI: Only 999 of the 23,000 people with disability who live in group homes have been vaccinated – despite being a high risk group.— ABC The Drum (@ABCthedrum) May 17, 2021
“Until we are vaccinated, we are stuck and we become invisible and government forgets about us.” – @HChristinaR.#TheDrum pic.twitter.com/ThJ5hPOttZ
Ryan explained that it’s not the first time people with disabilities have been forgotten by the government during the pandemic.
“They forgot about us at the beginning of everything, last February and March, when we weren’t even mentioned in the Covid plan for Australia. We had to lobby very hard to even get a plan in place at all,” Ryan said.
“One of things they do is say that aged people are more at risk. Well, actually, not necessarily; people with underlying conditions are more at risk, and that’s disabled people as well.”