By S BIRRUNTHA / Pic by TMR FILE PIX
Over half of Malaysians or 56% are likely to continue getting vaccinated against Covid-19, according to a recent survey by market research company Ipsos Malaysia.
The survey revealed that 32% of Malaysians are neutral on the intention of continued vaccination against Covid-19, while 12% said they are unlikely to do so.
Additionally, the survey also highlighted that the likeliness to continue getting vaccinated is lowest or 50% among the most vulnerable age group, at 60 years and above.
Those aged between 18 to 30 were the most likely to continue getting vaccinations, with 58% in agreement.
Furthermore, the survey added that the intention of continued vaccination is lower among those who have yet to test positive, and hence may be in greater need of protection.
“As discussions about a second booster begin to shape up, the main challenge will be getting the population to get continually vaccinated, especially the vulnerable elderly group.
“Currently, the intention to continually get vaccinated among the population is low,” the researchers of the survey said.
Meanwhile, the survey also observed respondents’ perception on how useful it is to get vaccinated.
It was noted that although a majority of Malaysians believe vaccines protect their health and improve their general wellbeing, more than anything, getting vaccinated is seen as an enabler for people to go about their daily activities.
A total of 68% of respondents agreed that getting vaccinated against Covid-19 improves their wellbeing, while 24% were unsure, and 9% disagreed.
A total of 76% agreed that the Covid-19 vaccine protects their health, while 17% were unsure, and 8% disagreed.
Only 8% of respondents thought that getting vaccinated against Covid-19 helps them go about their daily activities, while the other 15% were unsure and 5% disagreed.
Meanwhile, the survey noted that believing in health and well-being benefits from vaccines against Covid-19 are stronger motivators for continued vaccination than convenience is.
The survey added that to boost willingness to continue taking vaccines, the health perspective needs to be emphasised.
“To nudge the population into continual vaccination, short term strategies could focus on making a multiple-boosted individual’s daily life more convenient, and giving them access to benefits that the unvaccinated/unboosted don’t have, such as the ability to dine-in or travel.
“The enjoyed benefits can subsequently feed into the longer-term strategies of communicating and educating the public on how access to these benefits through continual vaccination may lift their overall physical and mental wellbeing,” the researchers said.
As only 3 out of 4 people agree that vaccination protects one’s health, the survey suggested that more work needs to be done in communicating clear and strong statistical evidence showing how the virus affects the unvaccinated and unboosted disproportionately more than the vaccinated and boosted.
The survey was jointly undertaken by Ipsos Malaysia, Monash University Malaysia, Sunway University, and University Sains Malaysia.
It was conducted among 1,914 Malaysian adults aged 18 years and above, from January 17 to January 27 this year.
The sample was collected via an online panel, and skewed towards the more urban, connected population.