SCRUB findings Round 9

Australians’ compliance and attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccine

SCRUB findings Round 9

We're in it together for as long as it takes

Written by Peter Slattery and Emily Grundy

The Australian Government’s 3-step Framework for a COVIDSafe future and new vaccine manufacturing agreements give hope that our freedoms may not be restricted forever. However, are Australians willing to comply with long-term changes to their habits and behaviours and accept a vaccine?

This is what the Survey of COVID-19 Responses to Understand Behaviour (SCRUB) project investigated in its ninth round of data collection. SCRUB aims to give policymakers actionable insights into public attitudes and behaviours relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following is a summary of key findings from data collected between 21 September to 25 September and funded by the Victorian Government. This representative sample comprises 1,000 Australians.

This article at a glimpse:

  • Almost 90% of Australians believe that they can follow COVID-19 related rules and regulations for as long, or longer, than is currently requested by authorities in their state.
  • More than 40% that they can follow COVID-19 related rules and regulations for as long as is necessary.
  • Australians think that a vaccine will be important and necessary; the majority of people would get themselves, and their children, vaccinated against COVID-19.

Current and predicted compliance

At present, SCRUB data suggests that the majority of the population (80%) are often or always following the rules and regulations (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Self-rated compliance

When we assess how this compares to the last month, 71.1% of people state that their compliance has stayed the same, 14.9% suggest that it has decreased and 14% believe that it has increased.

Of the respondents who stated that their compliance with the rules and regulations has decreased, a third (38.5%) report that this was mainly due to their area not being affected.

In Round 9, SCRUB asked Australians how much longer they could do all of the personal actions required and/or recommended by authorities in their state. The most common response (43.9%) was that Australians could comply for as long as it takes (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Predicted compliance with Government plan or roadmap

Australians’ attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccine

There have been suggestions in the media that vaccine hesitancy could undermine Australia’s COVID-19 response. SCRUB data finds that the majority of people would get a COVID-19 vaccine if it becomes available. As seen in Figure 3, very few respondents reported that they disagree (4%) or strongly disagree (4%) with accepting a vaccine.

Figure 3. Acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine for self

This number increases slightly when parents consider whether they would get their children vaccinated, with the percentage strongly disagreeing rising to 6% (see Figure 4).

Figure 4. Acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine for child

SCRUB also asked Australians about the attributes of a potential vaccine (see Figure 5). The majority believe that it will be important (61%) and necessary (59%).

Learn more or get involved

SCRUB measures behaviour, behavioural drivers, COVID-19 attitudes and beliefs, and demographic variables, with outputs including:

  • An interactive dashboard of survey responses
  • Open data for research academics to answer urgent behavioural research questions and to provide a resource for future pandemic preparedness.

The Australian chapter of SCRUB is being led by BehavioursWorks Australia. To learn more about the SCRUB survey, please visit the website and interactive dashboard. You can access the survey and data here.

You can also help the research team provide more policy-relevant snapshots of the COVID-19 pandemic by taking part in the survey here.

Please email if you would like to use the SCRUB survey to collect data in your country or state (voluntarily or funded), or want access to the data.