9 Mar 2021
As Australia rolls out COVID-19 vaccines, psychology researchers at USC Australia are inviting the public to share their views on how they feel about receiving them or not.
Dr Karina Rune and Dr Jacob Keech have launched an online survey Investigating Attitudes and Beliefs about COVID-19 Vaccines in Australia, and aim to gather as many varied responses as possible to assemble a snapshot of public sentiment on the topic.
Dr Rune said findings from the survey at this critical point in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines could help inform communication campaigns that encourage greater uptake across the country.
“To date, there has been a lot of discussion around the vaccines, but not as much detail provided to the public on the rigour of the scientific process involved in their development,” Dr Rune said.
“For example, it might be that people are concerned about the speed with which the vaccine was developed, even though we know that the vaccines have demonstrated the high level of scientific rigour and testing required for full approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.”
Dr Keech said their current study was based on a recent questionnaire completed by a diverse range of respondents from the Sunshine Coast, which has one of the lowest rates of vaccination uptake generally in Australia.
“We have seen early reports that people who commonly get vaccinated say they might be a bit hesitant this time around,” Dr Keech said.
“So, from this study we want to get a deeper understanding of this hesitancy, particularly among those who would otherwise choose to vaccinate."
The researchers plan to follow up those who participate once vaccines have been sufficiently rolled out across Australia to understand how early sentiment relates to the actual vaccine uptake.
The survey is available at https://psychologyhealthresearch.com/