Survey: COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy remains high

Top reasons cited to refuse the shots include questions of safety and effectiveness.

Nearly a third of respondents to a recent survey performed by Texas A&M University School of Public Health say they don’t intend to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 coronavirus.

According to a news release, 31.1 percent of the about 5,000 survey respondents say that they do not intend to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them.

The survey also found that women seem to be the most hesitant finding they are 71 percent more likely not to seek vaccination, followed Black people at 41 percent, the release says.

Politics also seems to enter the equation as the survey, which was completed in mid-2020, found that each one-point increase in conservatism increased the odds of not seeking the vaccine by 18 percent. Additionally, those who said they were supporting Donald Trump in the November election were 29 percent more likely to refuse the vaccine, the release says.

Overall, the top two given reasons for vaccine refusal are safety and effectiveness but different subgroups cited their own reasons. Black respondents indicated their hesitancy was based on these concerns as well as lack of financial resources or health insurance, the release says.

"This points to the need for the medical community and policymakers to find ways to both build trust in the vaccine in the African American community and to ensure that it is delivered affordably," Timothy Callaghan, assistant professor at the Texas A&M University School of Public Health and leader of the study, says in the release.

The researchers also noted that anti-vaccine concerted efforts to tie the current vaccine rollout to historical medical abuses against minorities could decrease the likelihood that racial minorities will seek vaccination against COVID-19, according to the release.

The researchers now seek to turn their attention to what kind of health intervention and promotions are most effective in promoting the vaccine to hesitant communities.