Selfish or just hesitant? Should Australia’s COVID-19 anti-vaxxers be medically exempt?

After establishing that more than half of Australians (56.4 per cent) would opt for the Pfizer vaccine, if given a choice, and with only vague plans for a vaccine rollout as Sydney heads into its third week of a lockdown with the new Delta strain scare spreading nationwide, a new survey has found that Australians are hesitant to receive the COVID-19 jab.

A survey conducted by Hunter and Bligh reveals that more than two-thirds (68.9 per cent) of Australians believe it should be compulsory for all eligible Aussies to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

More than four in 10 South Australians (41.6 per cent) and Northern Territorians (41.4 per cent) disagree that the COVID-19 jab should not be compulsory and, interestingly, after more than 112 days in lockdown, more than a third (36.8 per cent) of Victorians disagree too.

69.3 per cent of Australians agree that people who choose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are being selfish.

Although more than two-thirds (69.3 per cent) of Australians surveyed believe that people who choose not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine are being selfish, six in 10 (61 per cent) also believe that there is a valid, medical reason for not doing so.

Freedom of choice or just an anti-vaccination movement? Almost a quarter (23.7 per cent) of Hunter and Bligh members think that Australians should simply be free to choose not to receive the jab.

Despite more than three quarters (76.1 per cent) of Australians disagreeing that the non-vaccinated should be denied access to Medicare, eight in 10 (80.5 per cent) believe that people who decline to be vaccinated should be excluded from front line jobs. Furthermore 68.1 per cent believe the unvaccinated should be excluded from domestic and international travel, 51 per cent believe they should be excluded from child care-related jobs, and 47.9 per cent believe that they should not be allowed to attend public events.

Meanwhile, supporting the idea of excluding anti-vaxxers and to further encourage Australia’s vaccine rollout, around 83 per cent of Australians overall support the idea of a vaccine passport.

Hunter and Bligh found in a previous study that close to one in five (14.6 per cent) Australians agreed that a better education on the vaccines would convince us to get the COVID-19 jab.

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Data received by Hunter and Bligh and conducted by CoreData Research, a global specialist financial services research and strategy consultancy. The survey was conducted in July 2021 and received results from 1661 Australians.
Feature image: Photographed by golibtolibov Getty Images. Image via Canva.