Covid: Australia's vaccine hesitancy worries medical experts
May 22, 2021
Australia's troubled vaccine rollout has hit a potential new stumbling block - rising vaccine hesitancy. This week a survey suggested about one-third of Australians said they were unlikely to get vaccinated, reportedly up from previous months. The caution mostly centres around side effects and a lack of urgency given Australia's low infection rates. But hesitancy threatens to frustrate plans to open its borders, which are slated to remain shut until mid-2022. The country of nearly 26 million people has managed to stave off major outbreaks through strict border and quarantine controls, and by periodically enforcing snap lockdowns. Australia is one of the few places in the world where there is no widespread community transmission of Covid. But it is also one of the slowest in the developed world to immunise its population. While the pace of the rollout has picked up in recent weeks - reaching daily records - concern about vaccine hesitancy in some pockets of the community has began to increase.