Covid vaccine hesitancy spells trouble for international border timeline

While Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is taking a cautious approach to any timeline around opening up Australia’s international border, Australians are becoming increasingly reluctant to get vaccinated, potentially pushing the current mid-2022 date even further back.

Currently 3.18 million Australians have been vaccinated, way off the 70 per cent of the population needed to achieve herd immunity.

The vaccine rollout is also very different in each state, with NSW and Victoria delivering more than 11,000 doses a day while Queensland and WA are only doing 2,700 each.

But a new poll has shown that almost one in three Australians do not intend to get the vaccine.

The latest Resolve Strategic poll showed 15 per cent of adults surveyed said they were “not at all likely” and 14 per cent “not very likely” to be vaccinated.

The surprise result could be a combination of both over confidence based on Australia’s very low case numbers and fear following a rising number of blood clotting side effects related to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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”.

“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.