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‘Big wake-up call’: Authorities urged to tackle COVID-19 vaccine misinformation in diverse communities

New research has highlighted a range of concerns and misconceptions about the COVID-19 vaccine among culturally and linguistically diverse communities, with advocates calling on governments to work with local community leaders to reach them.  The study, commissioned by the NSW Council of Social Service, found high rates of knowledge about COVID-19 but also evidence of confusion and misinformation, with vaccine hesitancy rising after changes to the health advice for the AstraZeneca jab.

“The focus groups highlighted that conflicting public messaging, overly complex information (even when translated), or not enough targeted information were factors in vaccine hesitancy,” the report authors wrote. The research was conducted before the most recent Delta outbreak when most respondents did not consider the virus “a clear and present danger. Of the people interviewed in NSW, 58 percent were keen or had received the vaccine, 29 percent were unsure, and 13 percent did not want to be vaccinated – figures which are in line with recent data looking at the broader population.

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