Nearly 8 out of 10 Australians believe vaccines prevent infectious diseases and will access a new COVID-19 vaccine if it is available and properly tested, a ChildFund Australia survey shows.
The Essential Report polling for ChildFund Australia finds:
- 79 per cent of Australians believe vaccines are effective in preventing infectious diseases.
- 78 per cent of Australians polled said they would take a COVID-19 vaccine if it was properly tested and released.
There is also strong support for Australia’s role in ensuring neighbouring countries have access to a COVID-19 vaccine:
- 76% of people believe Australia should help neighbouring countries rollout COVID-19 immunisation programs if a safe and tested vaccine is released.
- 79% believe there should be a fair global allocation system for the COVID-19 vaccine so poorer countries are not left behind.
ChildFund Australia CEO Margaret Sheehan said the results show the majority of Australians believe in the efficacy of vaccines and think Australia has a responsibility to help prevent the spread of infectious disease in our region.
She said: “In Australia, we have entirely eradicated infectious diseases such as polio, and many children have been vaccinated against other life-threatening illnesses such as measles. This is a testament to the effectiveness of large-scale vaccination programs implemented over many years.
”Unfortunately, in countries like Papua New Guinea, low rates of vaccination due to overstretched and under-resourced health systems means the lives of children are still at risk to preventable disease.
“Ongoing financial and on-the-ground support is needed to ensure children can access immunisation programs that save lives.”
The current global pandemic has shown how quickly infectious disease can spread across national borders and within countries. Ms Sheehan says the Australian Government has a critical role to play in stopping the spread of disease across our region.
“This is particularly critical in tackling COVID-19. No country should be left behind in the rollout of a vaccine once it has been thoroughly tested and released.”