We recently surveyed a range of community members in South Eastern NSW about their thoughts on the COVID-19 vaccination rollout, and whether people intend to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Of the people who responded, more than 60% of people identified as female, 38% male, and 1% as another gender.
Almost 70% of respondents were aged 45 and above, with 30% in the 45–55 age range, 13% in the 55–65 age range, and 26% in the 65+ age range. Just under one quarter of people (23%) were in the 25–35 age range.
In addition, 47% of respondents identified as Aboriginal, with no-one identifying as Torres Strait Islander and one person preferring not to say.
A further 5% of people were from a multicultural background and just over 3% of respondents identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and / or queer (LGBTIQ+).
More than one-quarter of respondents (27%) indicated that they live with disability. Just over half of all respondents (53%) live with chronic illness.
Finally, there was an approximately even split between community members from the Northern part of the region (Helensburgh to Ulladulla) and the Southern part of the region (Ulladulla to Eden).
[Image description: Colourful cartoon illustration of happy diverse people from different cultural backgrounds and with mixed genders and abilities.]
When we asked people if they knew someone who had contracted COVID-19 – including themselves or a family member – 95% said no. However, 46% of people had been tested as a precaution.
It was great to see that 92% of respondents had spoken to their friends and family about the COVID-19 vaccine. The main reason people wanted to talk about the vaccine was to discuss keeping relatives and elderly people with underlying health issues safe, as well as contributing to ‘herd immunity’ for Australia.
A huge majority of people – 94% in total – indicated that they will encourage their loved ones to get the COVID-19 vaccine. A further 62% of people intend to get the COVID-19 vaccine themselves when it becomes available to them.
For those people who DO intend to get the vaccine, the top three reasons were as follows:
- To protect my loved ones
- To protect myself
- To protect vulnerable people
[Image description: Cartoon illustration of an elderly Aboriginal man with white hair receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from a young female Aboriginal nurse.]
The top three reasons for not wanting to get the COVID-19 vaccine included fears over this vaccine in particular; concerns about the fast-paced rollout; and a strong stance against vaccination in general.
For those who are intending to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, more than half of people (57%) plan to access the vaccine at their local general practice, followed by an Aboriginal Medical Service (8%) or pharmacy (6%).
Some respondents commented that they are unsure where or how to access the vaccine in their local area. This indicates the importance of clear communication about the rollout for those living in regional and rural areas. (Please see the information below for links.)
Some respondents also indicated that the opinion of family and friends would influence their decision on whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This highlights the importance of making sure good information is available to talk about and share, helping people make informed decisions.
Thank you to the survey respondents for sharing your thoughts on the COVID-19 vaccination rollout!
Vaccinating the local community will take time, but everyone who would like to be vaccinated will be able to. To find out if you are currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, please refer to the Vaccine Eligibility Tracker on the Department of Health’s website.
Learn more about keeping yourself and others safe in this short video about ‘herd immunity’.
If you would like to stay in touch and hear from us about future health-related surveys and consultations, we encourage you to sign up as a Friend of COORDINARE, and together we can help to improve local health outcomes!