Attitudes towards vaccines and intention to vaccinate against COVID-19: a cross-sectional analysis-implications for public health communications in Australia.BMJ Open. 2022 01 03; 12(1):e057127.BO
To examine SARS-CoV-2 vaccine confidence, attitudes and intentions in Australian adults as part of the iCARE Study.
DESIGN AND SETTING
Cross-sectional online survey conducted when free COVID-19 vaccinations first became available in Australia in February 2021.
Total of 1166 Australians from general population aged 18-90 years (mean 52, SD of 19).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Primary outcome: responses to question 'If a vaccine for COVID-19 were available today, what is the likelihood that you would get vaccinated?'.Secondary outcome: analyses of putative drivers of uptake, including vaccine confidence, socioeconomic status and sources of trust, derived from multiple survey questions.
Seventy-eight per cent reported being likely to receive a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Higher SARS-CoV-2 vaccine intentions were associated with: increasing age (OR: 2.01 (95% CI 1.77 to 2.77)), being male (1.37 (95% CI 1.08 to 1.72)), residing in least disadvantaged area quintile (2.27 (95% CI 1.53 to 3.37)) and a self-perceived high risk of getting COVID-19 (1.52 (95% CI 1.08 to 2.14)). However, 72% did not believe they were at a high risk of getting COVID-19. Findings regarding vaccines in general were similar except there were no sex differences. For both the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and vaccines in general, there were no differences in intentions to vaccinate as a function of education level, perceived income level and rurality. Knowing that the vaccine is safe and effective and that getting vaccinated will protect others, trusting the company that made it and vaccination recommended by a doctor were reported to influence a large proportion of the study cohort to uptake the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Seventy-eight per cent reported the intent to continue engaging in virus-protecting behaviours (mask wearing, social distancing, etc) postvaccine.
Most Australians are likely to receive a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Key influencing factors identified (eg, knowing vaccine is safe and effective, and doctor's recommendation to get vaccinated) can inform public health messaging to enhance vaccination rates.