More than 550,000 New Zealanders unlikely to accept a Covid-19 vaccination say that’s because they’d rather wait and see if others get any side effects.
The Ministry of Health has released full results of polling into attitudes to the vaccine rollout, following an Official Information Act request from the Herald, and having earlier publicised only top-line findings.
Polling was done in September and December last year, and a report after the December polling shows:
• An estimated 555,100 adults who said they’d be unlikely to be vaccinated gave a main reason as, “I’d rather wait and see if others who have taken it suffer any side effects” – indicating this large group could be eventually convinced of vaccine safety.
• People who chose “I don’t trust any vaccine” were more likely than average to live in the upper North Island (excluding Auckland) – 72 per cent live in the North Island, with 25 per cent in Auckland, 28 per cent in the upper North Island (excluding Auckland), 20 per cent in the lower North Island and 28 per cent in the South Island.
• 45 per cent of respondents were caregivers for at least one child, and, of that group, 40 per cent said “if an approved Covid-19 vaccine becomes available for younger children” they would have it given to a child or children for whom they were the caregiver. Another 24 per cent were unsure, with 33 per cent unlikely to do so.
Horizon Research did the polling in association with the University of Auckland’s School of Population Health.
The ministry has previously only released a summary.
According to the full report on the December polling, 69 per cent of people would be prepared to accept a “well-tested and approved” Covid-19 vaccine, while 24 per cent were unlikely to. Eleven per cent (an estimated 391,900 adults) said they definitely wouldn’t.
Those responses vary by ethnicity, and widely by age – 0 per cent of respondents aged 75 or over said they were “most unlikely” or definitely wouldn’t accept a vaccine, compared to the 18 per cent “most unlikely” and 20 per cent definitely not of the 35-44 age group.