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Survey: About 1 in 4 in Region Want COVID-19 Vaccine But Haven’t Gotten It or Are Undecided

A new survey from Cincinnati-based Interact for Health indicates that 56% of local adults reported that had received a COVID-19 vaccine and that an additional 7% reported that they will definitely get the vaccine.

Eighteen percent had not yet decided whether they will get the vaccine while 19% said that they definitely would not get a vaccine.

The survey was conducted in July with results released Thursday as part of the Greater Cincinnati COVID-19 Health Issues Survey.

“These data show that the debate about COVID-19 vaccines is not simply about favoring or opposing the shot,” said Ross Meyer, vice president of strategy with Interact for Health. “Many still want to get the vaccine or are undecided. We need to help our friends, family members and coworkers who feel this way find reliable information about vaccination and get help with transportation and child care so they can take the time to get vaccinated.”

Intent to get the vaccine among African-Americans in the region was particularly of interest, the organization said. Only 24% of African American adults reported they received a vaccine. However, 34% of African American adults said they definitely will get the vaccine, much higher than the 3% of white adults.

This suggests there are African-Americans who would like to get vaccinated but haven’t yet, providing an opportunity for additional community outreach, the organization said.

Reasons for not getting vaccinated

Respondents who were not yet vaccinated were asked to rank how important a variety of reasons were in their decision not to get the shot. The following reasons were ranked as very important: the desire to confirm the safety of the vaccines (72%), concern about side effects (64%) and concern about the timeline for developing the vaccines (64%). Respondents were able to select more than one concern as very important in their decision making. 

Since the survey was conducted, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine received full federal approval. There are two other vaccines, from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, that are also widely available free and and highly effective.

Health care providers the preferred source for information

National data have demonstrated that people are receptive to vaccine information from health care providers. This survey found similar results, showing that 55% of respondents trust their physicians a great deal to provide reliable information about the COVID-19 vaccine, followed by pharmacists (42%) and local health departments (38%).

“Doctors, nurses and pharmacists have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic response,” said Christa Hyson, assistant director, emergency response and public information officer with the Health Collaborative. “Many of them have also lent their support to efforts to increase community vaccination. As we continue our efforts to get 80% of those eligible in our region vaccinated, we need health care providers to encourage vaccination at every encounter and be ready to refer their patients for vaccination as needed.”

Common barriers to vaccination

The survey showed that efforts to make vaccination accessible have made a difference. A majority of Greater Cincinnati adults reported it is very easy to find a place to get a COVID-19 vaccine that is convenient for them (70%), a place that they trust (68%) or a place that is open at a time that fits their schedule (60%). African American adults and those living in poverty are less likely to think it was very easy to find a vaccine. 

-Staff report

Photo: The queue set up for COVID vaccines at a St. Elizabeth Healthcare facility earlier this year (RCN file)