Kymberly Martin
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Impact of Covid on Australian households

An Australian Bureau of Statistics survey has revealed respondents’ attitudes about Covid vaccines, that included factors affecting their decisions to get vaccinated, Telehealth services and the ability to pay bills.

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In June 2021, the survey asked how strongly people agreed or disagreed with a selection of statements about Covid vaccinations. A similar proportion of people with and without disability agreed or strongly agreed they would get a vaccine when it was available and recommended for them (73 per cent and 74 per cent). People with a sensory and speech disability were more likely to agree or strongly agree that they would get the vaccine when it became available, and was recommended for them, compared to the whole population.

For Australians aged 18 and over who said they would get a Covid vaccination when it became available to them, the factors most affecting the decision varied by disability:

  • People with disability were more likely to rely on their GP or other health professional for advice than people without disability, and
  • People with disability were less likely to consider the vaccine’s use for a long time without serious side effects in deciding to be vaccinated than people without disability.

People with disability were most likely to report concerns relating to potential side effects as the main reason not to get a Covid vaccination, similar to those without disability.

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When it came to Telehealth services, more than one in five people with disability used a Telehealth service in the previous four weeks compared with 12 per cent of those without disability. This ranged from 16 per cent of those with a sensory and speech disability to 36 per cent of those with a psychosocial disability.

As for the ability to pay bills, one in 13 people reported their household was unable to pay one or more selected bills on time over the last three months due to a shortage of money. People with disability (12 per cent) were more likely than people with no disability (7 per cent) to report their household was unable to pay one or more selected bills on time over the last three months. People with intellectual disabilities were most likely to report experiencing this difficulty.

A majority of respondents said they expected to be able to pay bills received in the next three months. People with disability (87 per cent) were less likely to report expecting their household would be able to pay bills received in the next three months than people without disability (92 per cent).

https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/people-disability-household-impacts-covid-19