Tasmanians have been warned not to become complacent about the dangers from COVID despite a vaccine soon becoming available.
Economics professor at the University of Tasmania, Swee-Hoon Chuah, says governments also need to provide clearer messages about restrictions.
She is worried complacency could set in because people are relying on the vaccine and some would not bother to get vaccinated.
"First, this vaccine is less effective than the ones we are used to from our childhood (eg smallpox): there are different strands of the virus, for each, effectiveness will likely be far less than 100 per cent," Professor Chuah said.
"Two separate jabs are needed and it keeps mutating and so on.
"So even if a person is vaccinated, this is not a fail safe against becoming infected.
"The second source comes from those who are too complacent to get vaccinated in the first place. A vaccination not only protects us but protect others from us and for that to work, a significant proportion of people need to take the jabs.
"I think this message - don't be too complacent - needs to be made clearer as the time for vaccination gets closer."
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Professor Chuah said clear communication from governments was important.
"It is not only how government communicates but what it communicates as well.
"Government communication not only provides information but also the motivation people need to cope in difficult times and to follow restrictions.
"The important thing is to strike a balance between being sufficiently optimistic and creating realistic expectations that will not be dashed later on. This is really difficult when the situation is constantly changing."
Professor Chuah said the Tasmanian Government had not "committed many of the communication blunders we have seen elsewhere".
"Part of reason of course is that Tasmania is an island of an island. Consider Germany, it has land borders with nine other nations with different jurisdictions and rules, that are hard to control," she said.
"Tasmania does not have this problem. To their credit, Tasmania has been successful in exploiting this advantage. This is not an easy thing to do, given Tasmania's reliance on tourism."
In an article in The Conversation, Professor Chuah and RMIT University economics Professor Robert Hoffman said a year had passed since COVID-19 emerged and and "what looked like a temporary inconvenience at first is turning into a permanent fixture that might forever change life as we knew it before 2020".
"But how long will people continue to comply with the measures necessary to overcome the virus as complacency and fatigue set in?" they asked.
The academics said some people had rejected COVID restrictions including some absconding from quarantine hotels and airports, anti-mask protests in Sydney and partying at Sydney's Bronte Beach in violation of distancing regulations.
"Are these isolated cases, or signs of an increasingly exhausted public growing less tolerant of restrictions with the knowledge of vaccines on the way?
"And could this kind of complacency cost us the war against the virus?
"As we enter a new year with no end in sight to the pandemic, many will surely wonder what the endgame is."
The academics said while vaccines would help a return to normal life, it could take a long time.
"We may be living with COVID restrictions longer than we think," they said.
"What is clear is that government messaging continues to matter greatly. People need to be informed how we are travelling in the fight against the virus and how long the journey will take."