A disturbing new study by researchers at the Australian National University details an increase in vaccine hesitancy among many Australians over the period of August 2020 to January 2021. This may have serious implications for the country’s ability to achieve universal immunization.
The research team has released its findings on the medRxiv* preprint server.
COVID-19 in Australia
The rate of COVID-19 in Australia is extremely low compared to most other countries. This has been attributed to tight travel restrictions, including for Australian nationals returning home, who are having to wait for a limited number of slots on international flights to avoid importing infection.
This was coupled with a mandatory quarantine on all travelers to Australia, except for those coming from New Zealand. Lockdowns were also implemented at various points of time following reports of local outbreaks.
A relaxation of these restrictions will require the vaccination of enough Australians, as well as vaccination certification of travelers arriving from other parts of the world, in most cases.
Several vaccines have now been rolled out that claim to be both safe and effective. Certainly, few serious adverse effects have been reported so far, after millions of vaccinations in many countries…