28 April 2021.

With Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program now well underway, a rapid-response survey conducted by the Sax Institute was rolled out in February to over 40,000 older Australians, providing a snapshot of our country’s attitudes towards vaccination.

Hand with pen over application form .

Created in partnership with the NSW Ministry of Health, the survey draws on our flagship 45 and Up Study, which has tracked the health of over 260,000 NSW people over the age of 45 for the past 15 years. The sheer size of the study means it has the potential to provide unrivaled insights into the population’s views and intentions around vaccination.

Questions in the survey were designed to explore a range of topics that will help inform the national vaccine effort, including intention to get the vaccine, how people choose whether they’re going to get the jab, perceived benefits of vaccination, and public information and trust.

Early insights have already shown strong public opinion on national vaccination, with 88% of respondents reporting they’ve had a vaccination to protect against illness in the last five years. When it comes to getting the COVID-19 shot, 86% said they think it will be important for their own health, and 82% think it will protect others. Seven in ten would prefer to get their vaccination from a GP.

As for information about the vaccine, one in five felt they did not have enough information on the COVID vaccines. However, the vast majority of participants rated the government and healthcare providers as the most highly trusted sources of information.

More detailed results from the surveys are still being processed, and the Sax Institute will continue to share findings as they become available to support an effective response to the pandemic and its impact on the population. This data will also be made available to approved researchers to assist with future health research.

Acknowledgements

Funding for this project was awarded through the NSW Health COVID Research Grants Round 1. Find out more about the NSW government’s COVID-19 research grants here.

45 and Up vaccination insights have benefited from advice and guidance from the following collaborators:

  • Dr Julia Steinberg, Cancer Council NSW
  • Associate Professor Jill Newby, University of New South Wales
  • Dr Marianne Weber, Cancer Council NSW
  • Professor Dianne O’Connell, Cancer Council NSW
  • Professor Kirsten McCaffery, University of Sydney
  • Professor Julie Leask, University of Sydney
  • Professor Raina MacIntyre, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Catherine D’Este, Australian National University
  • Associate Professor Melody Ding, University of Sydney
  • Professor Bette Liu, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Julie Redfern, University of Sydney

Find out more information about the 45 and Up Study.