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Govt urges vaccine social media posts to boost public confidence

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The federal government is encouraging Australians to share their experiences on social media of getting a COVID-19 jab in a bid to tackle increasing levels of vaccine hesitancy.

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Health Minister Greg Hunt said people get the biggest boost of confidence from seeing others receive the vaccine.

“[We need] as many Australians as possible to upload their photo – ‘this is me getting the jab’ or ‘I’ve had the vaccine’,” he told radio 4BC on Wednesday.

“As we see more and more people have it, then that actually builds an effect in terms of confidence.”

Hunt’s proposal comes after a poll published by Nine Entertainment showed almost one in three Australian adults are unlikely to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was more interested in the 70 per cent of respondent who are keen to get the jab.

“Let’s just get on with them,” he said.

“There’s plenty of time to have the chat with the others who are a bit hesitant … but there are others who are open to the conversation and we will have that.”

More than 3.2 million Australians, including nearly 243,000 people in South Australia, have now received a COVID-19 vaccination, with the daily pace of the rollout increasing as the program expands.

Hunt said public health officials were constantly reviewing advertising campaigns for vaccines, and were also looking at new ways for leaders to talk about jab safety.

“Although we’re safe we’re not immune,” he said.

“And the one thing that gives immunity is the vaccination.”

The more people are vaccinated, the less risk there would be of state border lockdowns, Hunt said.

The federal government is talking to the states about the possibility of allowing vaccinated Australians to move more freely should there be local lockdowns.

“In America where they’ve had very significant restrictions in many states, we’re seeing much greater freedom of movement for those that have had the vaccine,” Hunt said.

“That’s an important model for Australia.”

But NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is already opposed to the idea of creating greater movement freedom for vaccinated people, telling The Australian there should be no internal borders – “vaccine or no vaccine”.

-with AAP

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