Preferences for a COVID-19 vaccine in Australia.Vaccine. 2021 01 15; 39(3):473-479.V
In absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, testing, contact tracing and social restrictions are among the most powerful strategies adopted around the world to slow down the spread of the pandemic. Citizens of most countries are suffering major physical, psychological and economic distress. At this stage, a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is the most sustainable option to manage the current pandemic. However, vaccine hesitancy by even a small subset of the population can undermine the success of this strategy. The objective of this research is to investigate the vaccine characteristics that matter the most to Australian citizens and to explore the potential uptake of a COVID-19 vaccine in Australia. Through a stated preference experiment, preferences towards a COVID-19 vaccine of 2136 residents of the Australian states and territories were collected and analysed via a latent class model. Results show that preferences for mild adverse cases, mode of administration, location of administration, price and effectiveness are heterogeneous. Conversely, preferences for immediacy and severe reactions are homogeneous, with respondents preferring a shorter period until vaccine is available and lower instances of severe side effects. The expected uptake of the vaccine is estimated under three different scenarios, with the value of 86% obtained for an average scenario. By calculating individual preferences, the willingness to pay is estimated for immediacy, effectiveness, mild and severe side effects.