What will it take to increase vaccination rates?
We now have the target. We know we need to get up around the 70-80% mark in terms of vaccination coverage before we can start to think about getting back to some semblance of normality here in Australia.
A lot has been said about what needs to happen to encourage those who might be reticent to actually get immunised against COVID-19. Should we be brandishing sticks or offering carrots? Or both?
So where do Australian medicos sit in the debate about vaccination incentives?
A recent online Healthed survey of over 630 GPs found that almost 80% believed in the concept of a vaccine passport, whereby only people who are fully vaccinated are able to travel interstate and overseas. Basically – if you’re not fully vaccinated you can’t get on a plane.
Similarly there appears to be strong support among Australian GPs for the concept of needing to be fully vaccinated in order to attend mass public events such as concerts or football games, and to be able to work in the healthcare sector including hospitals and GP surgeries (67% and 65% respectively).
Interestingly, the survey found there was less support for the proposed “carrots” when discussing incentives. Only about half (51%) of all respondents believed a health insurance discount was a worthwhile incentive, and less than a third (29%) thought a cash incentive was a good idea.
Perhaps less surprisingly, very, very few doctors (3.93%) supported the offer of free beer for vaccination.