Most Massachusetts residents have either gotten at least one vaccination shot or will take it as soon as they are eligible, but there are still key demographics that say they will wait or not get the shot at all, according to a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll taken March 25-28.
According to the poll, 44% of respondents have received at least one shot and 35% said they would get vaccinated as soon as they can. This represents a significant shift in attitude toward vaccination from a survey in December when 45% of Massachusetts residents said they would either wait awhile or not take the vaccine at all. Now, 12% say they will wait awhile and 7% say they will not take the vaccine.
Still, there are some demographics that record higher levels of vaccine hesitancy. The poll recorded that 29% of Black and Hispanic people would not get the shot right away. Forty percent of Republicans will not either.
Massachusetts residents who responded they will either wait awhile or not get the COVID-19 vaccine
“Policymakers have to figure out how to encourage Black and Hispanic communities to get the shot, as well as Republicans. Those groups’ high vaccine hesitancy could contribute to an uptick in COVID rates as variants become more common in more areas,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.
Part of the health challenge is that respondents who are lax about social distancing (17%) are also hesitant to get vaccinated. Among those residents who said they are not very or not at all strict about social distancing, 44% said they would not get the shot right away.
“There is a lot of overlap between the people who are not social distancing and the people who will not get the shot right away,” says Paleologos.
The poll recorded the reasons why residents would not take the vaccine right away with 51% saying their hesitancy is because they are worried it is not safe, while 13% said they never take vaccines of any kind, and 10% do not believe COVID-19 is a real threat. Another 9% said the type of vaccine that they wanted wasn’t available to them.
A majority could not answer what it would take to get them vaccinated, although the top answer (17%) was a call from their doctor followed by a financial incentive from the government (7%).
The statewide Suffolk University survey was conducted through live interviews of cell phone and land line users. All respondents indicated that they were residents of Massachusetts. The survey of 500 respondents was conducted March 25-March 28. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence. Results are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, [email protected].
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