Taking the Pulse of the Nation

Wave 38 (2-7 August 2021)

One in four adult Australians remain hesitant about being vaccinated against COVID-19, posing a challenge to the goal of achieving a 70-80 per cent vaccination coverage

Our survey of Australian adults indicate that 21 per cent are fully vaccinated, 18 per cent have had the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine only, and 38 per cent are willing to be vaccinated (with more wanting to be vaccinated as soon they are eligible rather than waiting for their preferred vaccine). However, 14 per cent are still unwilling and 10 per cent don’t know whether they want to be vaccinated.

Overall, about 1 in 4 remain hesitant about being vaccinated against COVID-19, even though NSW is grappling with a rising number of cases, Victoria is in its sixth lockdown, and the rest of Australia is subject to various restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. For further insights and the latest data, see the Vaccine Hesitancy Tracker.

  • The main reason for vaccine hesitancy is a concern about side-effects, followed by a belief that the vaccine will not work. These were also the main reasons for vaccine hesitancy in February.

  • Between 40 and 50 per cent of those hesitant to get vaccinated are unlikely to change their minds even when facing the possibility of the unvaccinated getting banned from participating in various activities.

Most Australians are satisfied with their state government’s policies to manage the spread of COVID-19, but there is relatively less support for lockdowns and business restrictions in NSW, VIC and QLD

Interviewees were asked whether they are satisfied with their state’s implementation of the following five policies: lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, operating restrictions on businesses and organisations, restrictions on interstate travel and/or border closures, compulsory mask wearing and social distancing requirements, and density limits at public events.

  • Most respondents are satisfied with their state’s policies, with the proportions satisfied ranging from 49 to 68 per cent
  • Of the policies considered, the most supported one is compulsory mask wearing and social distancing requirements
  • People in NSW, VIC and QLD are less satisfied with policies that restrict business operations and with lockdowns compared to people in WA and SA.
Figure 4: How satisfied are you with your State Government policies to provide protection against the spread of COVID-19? (%)
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* The survey contains responses from 1200 persons, aged 18 years and over. The sample is stratified by gender, age and location to be representative of the Australian population.

**This Report is written by Professor Guay Lim and Dr Viet Nguyen.

Download the report (pdf)

© The University of Melbourne – Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research, 2021. This work is copyright. The material may be reproduced and distributed for non-commercial purposes only, subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source(s).