Young women's reluctance to get a coronavirus vaccine linked to their distrust in the Australian government

Researchers have drawn a connection between young women's lack of trust in the Australian federal government, and their hesitancy to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

An Australian National University study, published on Thursday, said women between the ages of 18 and 24 were the most reluctant group in the country to get the jab.

Only about 30 per cent of young women said they were confident in the federal government, compared with 47 per cent of the rest of the population.

The data was collected between May and October last year from 3030 Australians.

Report co-author Professor Kate Reynolds said young women could become even more hesitant to get the vaccine if they were put off by the government's recent handing of sexual harassment and political culture.

Young women are the most reluctant group in the country to get a COVID-19 vaccine, researchers say. Picture: Karleen Minney

Young women are the most reluctant group in the country to get a COVID-19 vaccine, researchers say. Picture: Karleen Minney

As at October, only 43 per cent of young women said they were willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, compared with 63 per cent of the rest of the population.

"October is the last time [the 3030 respondents were surveyed] and we could see those patterns then," Professor Reynolds said.

"The argument is that perhaps if women have a little less confidence, then ... they've sort of switched off on the vaccine stuff as well.

"If you were the health department, you would be wanting to address the potential for that further reticence as soon as possible."

Professor Reynolds said there were all sorts of reasons young women had distrust in the federal government, and those reasons should be explored in more detail.

The university research found more than half of Australia's young men - 62 per cent - were keen to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

That number contrasted starkly with the 43 per cent of women who were in the same age group and keen to get it.

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The research also found Australians aged over 65 were the most willing group to receive a COVID vaccination as soon as possible.

"We found people - regardless of ethnicity, age and gender - who have greater confidence in state and the federal governments are more willing to be vaccinated," Professor Reynolds said.

"Social cohesion also mattered.

"We found key drivers of getting vaccinated for COVID-19 included when people had a sense of belonging in their neighbourhood, and a belief that people are being treated fairly."

The study showed about two in 10 Australians thought there were serious risks that came with being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Of the survey respondents, nearly 17 per cent weren't willing to get the jab as soon as possible.

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This story Why young women are the most reluctant to get the vaccine first appeared on The Canberra Times.

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