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Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield (Illustration: Simon Chesterman)
Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield (Illustration: Simon Chesterman)

PoliticsJuly 22, 2021

Exclusive poll: What does NZ think of the vaccine rollout?

Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield (Illustration: Simon Chesterman)
Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield (Illustration: Simon Chesterman)

A new representative survey by Stickybeak for The Spinoff reveals an increased readiness for vaccination, but mixed views on the state of the rollout.

The New Zealand government response to the Covid crisis has been broadly lauded, with polls for the Spinoff by Stickybeak showing overall support consistently high. But what of the vaccine programme?

Views of the vaccination programme

The rollout of the Pfizer two-dose vaccination has been running slightly ahead of schedule, with more than 1.5 million doses having been administered, bringing over 600,000 to full vaccination status. But it is demonstrably slow in global terms, sitting at the foot of the OECD table, and currently ranked around 120th in the world. It’s a far cry, says the opposition, from assurances that New Zealand would be “at the front of the queue”.

As far as popular opinion is concerned, things could hardly be more in the balance, with roughly a third assessing the programme positively, a third negatively, and a third squarely in the middle. Another way to look at it: positive response in our latest survey on the overall government response is 69%; on the vaccination programme, it’s 32%.

Vaccine willingness

In February of this year we asked: “If a medically approved vaccine was available now at no cost to you, would you take it?” Then, 53% said yes, 25% said no, and 22% said they were unsure.

The numbers are more encouraging today, with almost seven in 10 people saying they would take the Pfizer vaccine (or had already been vaccinated) and only 14% saying no.

The results are brighter still in the most recent research undertaken by Horizon for the Ministry of Health at the end of May, which found that 77% of those not yet vaccinated were “likely”, “most likely” or “definitely” intending to be vaccinated. Fifteen per cent were “unlikely” or “definitely not” willing to be vaccinated, with 8% unsure.

Separate research by TSA for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, released earlier this month, confirms that vaccines are increasingly top of mind for New Zealanders. Forty per cent of respondents cited the vaccine rollout in response to the question, “What are you thinking about in terms of the impact of Covid-19 in New Zealand?” That result, from June, is up by 17 points from similar research three months earlier.

Our new Stickybeak survey also asked people for their views on the state of the economy, the elimination strategy, and the speed of "opening up" to the rest of the world. We’ll have those results tomorrow.

About the study

Respondents were self-selecting participants, recruited via Facebook and Instagram. A total of n=629 sample was achieved of adults in New Zealand, with 208 of those in Auckland. Results in this report are weighted by age, gender and region to statistics from the 2018 Census. For a random sample of this size and after accounting for weighting, the maximum sampling error (using 95% confidence) is approximately ±3.9%. The study went into the field on Thursday July 15 and was completed on Monday July 19. Numbers are rounded, so will not always add to 100%.

About Stickybeak

Stickybeak is a New Zealand startup launched globally last June that uses chatbots to make quantitative market research more conversational and therefore less boring and even fun for respondents. Unlike conventional research, which uses panels of professional paid responders, Stickybeak recruits unique respondents fresh for each survey via social media.

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