This research is part of an ongoing series that looks into New Zealanders’ attitudes and public sentiment towards the COVID-19 vaccine.
Published date: 17 February 2021
In 2020, Horizon Research, in association with the School of Population Health, University of Auckland, was commissioned to survey New Zealanders’ attitudes and sentiment towards COVID-19 vaccines.
Two distinct but related online surveys were undertaken:
- 1,451 respondents between 24 and 28 September 2020
- 1,438 respondents between 1 and 4 December 2020.
The following are some of the key insights in the findings:
Accepting a vaccine
- 69 percent (an estimated 2,487,900 adults) of respondents are prepared to receive a ‘well-tested and approved’ COVID-19 vaccine.
- Uptake is likely to be highest among those aged 65+.
Barriers to uptake
- 24 percent of respondents indicated that they would be unlikely to have a COVID-19 vaccine if offered.
- 16 percent of New Zealand adults will not accept an offered vaccine.
- Between the first and the second Horizon Research reports, there is a slight increase in overall vaccine hesitancy (if not a reduction in overall ‘acceptance’ numbers).
- Pasifika and Māori have less confidence in the safety and quality of the vaccine and of its protection.
People who are unlikely to take an offered COVID-19 vaccine are more likely to:
- be female
- have a lower household income than those who are likely to take a vaccine if offered
- have lower educational qualifications than those who are likely to take a vaccine if offered
- be a parent with children in their household.
Māori, Pasifika and Other European, and people who are 35–44 years, are less willing to take a follow-up vaccine.
In December, 72 percent (2,574,200) of respondents are prepared to have a follow-up dose if required, up three percent from September.
18 percent (an estimated 652,600 adults) are unlikely to have a follow-up dose if required.
Respondents of Māori, Pasifika and ‘Other European’ ethnicities had lower than average willingness to take a follow-up vaccine.
The major reasons for hesitancy towards a vaccine are concerns regarding the vaccine’s safety. This is particularly the case for females.
When considering whether to take a COVID-19 vaccine, the top four thoughts that New Zealanders have are about potential side effects.
A third of people believe vaccines can be approved without knowing all the potential side effects.
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