Young Women Are Hesitant About Getting the COVID Vaccine — Why Is That?

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The various COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out across the world, including here in Australia — although, our rollout has been off to a slow start. As more Aussies roll up their sleeves to have the jab, there are a number of people who are hesitant to take the vaccine.

Research out of the Australian National University has found young women between the ages of 18 and 24 to be the most unsure about the vaccine, with just 43 percent happy to get the jab as soon as possible compared to 62 percent of young men.

“Younger people were less willing compared to older people but also women were less willing compared to men,” Dr Kate Reynold, professor of psychology at the Australian National University, told ABC Radio.

Researchers at ANU collected data from 3030 Australians between May and October last year and found certain social and behavioural indicators as to why young women were hesitant about the vaccine. The reason why has a lot to do with their trust in the government.

“It seems that young women, in particular, had less confidence in government and that was related to whether they were likely to get the vaccine or not,” Professor Reynolds told ABC Radio.

In fact, the researchers found that people — regardless of ethnicity, age and gender — who had greater confidence in the government (both state and federal) were more on board with vaccination. According to Professor Reynolds, an important factor of vaccination is whether or not people have a sense of belonging in their neighbourhood or feel they are being treated fairly.

“They give us some insights into things that are driving people decisions that are very much about social cohesion in the community of which confidence in government forms part of that,” Professor Reynolds said.

A quick conversation in the POPSUGAR Australia office about potential vaccine hesitancy pointed to the current blood clotting issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine as well as potential long-term effects of the vaccine that are not yet known — two other common concerns amongst the general population.

Ultimately, these vaccines have undergone all of the same safety checks that every other vaccine you’ve had in the past did. And, this vaccine is all about protecting yourself as well as those around you. If someone you know is on the fence about the vaccine, here’s how to have a productive conversation with them about it.

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