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An Australia wide survey conducted by Murphy's Law Accident Lawyers suggests vaccine hesitancy has dropped dramatically in the past two months following lock downs and Covid restrictions impacting more than half of Australia’s population during that time. It also found widespread support for the federal government's proposed COVID-19 Vaccine Claim Scheme for Covid-19 vaccine injury compensation which is designed to boost patient and health professional confidence during the vaccine rollout.

In the first half of May 2021, The Resolve Political Monitor, conducted a poll for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age which found almost one third of Australian adults were unlikely to get vaccinated for Covid-19. In a follow up in June they found this had dropped to around 26%.

Our study has found the number of Australian adults unlikely to get vaccinated for Covid-19 has dropped to just 11.5%.

  • That’s a 64% drop compared to the Age/SMH survey in May
  • And approx 50% drop compared to the Age/SMH survey in June

Since that time, lockdowns have impacted millions of Australians in NSW, Queensland, NT and WA with Sydney’s lockdown now extended into its third week and daily case numbers still rising.

Lockdowns have cut Covid vaccine hesitancy rates by two-thirds

Murphy’s Law Accident Lawyers commissioned a nationwide poll from July 6 to 9 2021 with 1,579 responses (via Google Surveys) asking how likely people were to get the Covid-19 vaccine or have already had it.

The key findings on likelihood to have the Covid-19 vaccine were:

  • 64% drop in vaccine hesitancy following recent lockdowns (in NSW, NT, QLD and WA) - compared to The Resolve Political Monitor survey taken just 2 months ago. 11.53% unlikely to get Covid vaccine in this July survey compared to pre-lockdown Resolve Political Monitor survey conducted in May 2021 in which approx 33% stated they were unlikely to get the vaccine.
  • 78% of Australian adults at least ‘very likely’ to have Covid vaccine or already have it (88.5% when counting those ‘fairly likely’ or more).
  • Nationwide then almost twice the number of women answered ‘not at all likely’ to get the vaccine compared to men. 6.1% of women compared to 3.49% of men.
  • Of those not yet vaccinated, NSW had the highest percentage saying they are ‘extremely likely’ to get the Covid vaccine. 48.14%, compared to 37.63% in Queensland. Many of those more hesitant in NSW were regional NSW respondents.
  • Queenslanders are more than twice as likely to ‘definitely not get’ the Covid vaccine compared to the rest of Australia. 8.55% in Queensland answered ‘not likely at all’ compared to 3.85% (Australia wide excluding Queensland).

Many Australians Support the Morrison Government’s ‘Covid Vaccine Claim Scheme’ But Many Need to Know More

We also asked Australians about support for the Federal government's recently announced COVID-19 Vaccine Claim Scheme which is designed to further reduce vaccine hesitancy among patients and liability concerns from health professionals for those impacted by rare side effects such as blood clots.

The idea of the scheme is to provide a simple process for compensation for those who suffer a major adverse reaction to the Covid vaccination which results in injury and economic loss due to reduced ability to work.

  • The scheme would be a ‘no fault’ scheme.  Whilst the framework of the scheme is yet to be confirmed it might perhaps resemble the US National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) which provides a list of accepted injuries that are covered by the scheme.
  • The scheme removes the need for a formal court process for accepted injuries.
  • It would provide indemnity to assure health professionals including GPs, nurses and pharmacists administering the Covid vaccines that they have sufficient indemnity coverage.

Regarding the scheme, Donna McManus, Founder of Murphy’s Law Accident Lawyers says, “Without a properly costed vaccine injury scheme the financial burden of vaccine injury falls to a number of parties including the injured person themselves, medical health insurers, friends and family of the injured person, and potentially State Government bodies such as Workcover.  In the U.S. some vaccine injured people are turning to GoFundMe pages.  This is a horrendous outcome for young people, particularly when they are trying to recover from a serious injury.  A Federal Government scheme will bring some certainty, clarity and fairness to the financial burden.”

The survey for Murphy’s Law Accident Lawyers asked “The Australian government is planning a ‘Covid Vaccine Claim Scheme’ which would offer "compensation without the need of formal court processes" for those injured by side effects - Do you agree this is a good idea?

The key findings regarding support for the scheme were:

  • Overall a strong support for the scheme (42.9%) with only a small number (13.6%) against the idea.
  • 43.5% neither agree nor disagree which mainly seems due to lack of awareness of the scheme and its details.
  • While only minority stated they don’t support the scheme, the biggest differences were:
    • Queenslanders 68.75% more likely to not support the scheme than those in NSW (11.2% NSW vs. 18.9% in QLD)
    • Over 55's are twice as likely not to support the scheme than those aged 18-34 (19.4% for 55+ vs. 9.8% for those 18-34).

Chris McManus, Principal of Murphy’s Law Accident Lawyers says, “Australians are not overly familiar with the concept of vaccine injury compensation.  For this reason, although the Federal Government has announced its intention to create the scheme, a lot more work will need to be done by the Government to educate the population on how vaccine injury schemes work.  This is something that was supported by the survey data with quite a large proportion of respondents unsure about the scheme or needing more information.”

A more detailed breakdown of the results are shown below.

Australia’s Covid vaccination scheme got off to a sluggish start but the survey's findings combined with increased vaccine supplies becoming available suggests the majority of Australians are keen to be vaccinated. Any adverse effects on the younger population and the effectiveness of a vaccine injury scheme won’t be known until the plan is fully rolled out and put to the test.

Study details: Study was conducted by Murphy’s Law Accident Lawyers via Google Surveys to Australian residents nationwide aged 18+. 1,579 respondents. The survey ran between 6th-9th July, 2021. The tables above are available to be embedded. State specific statistics have been provided for more populous States where sample sizes were sufficient (NSW, VIC, QLD).

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