Nearly two-thirds of Nevadans said they planned to get the vaccine for COVID-19 if and when one becomes available to the general public, according to a new poll.
The Nevada Poll™, conducted for the Review-Journal and AARP Nevada by WPA Intelligence, found 63 percent said they would get the vaccine, either right away or eventually.
But 38 percent said they either would never or may never get it, the poll found.
The poll of 512 likely voters in Nevadans was conducted from Oct. 7-11. It has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.
Pollster Chris Wilson said the polling didn’t show major partisan differences despite the politicizing of vaccine development.
“The one thing that Nevadans agree on is that they’re not going to rush out and get a shot,” Wilson said.
Digging into the numbers
Just 16 percent of those polled said they would get the vaccine immediately, including 18 percent of Republicans and 14 percent of Democrats. Yet 23 percent of those identifying as liberal said they would immediately get the vaccine, compared with 21 percent of conservatives.
Men are more likely than women to want the vaccine. Seventy-one percent of men said they would get the vaccine, in contrast to 55 percent of women.
The oldest Nevadans, who have higher rates of complications and deaths from COVID-19, want the vaccine the most of any age group. Of those 65 and older, 74 percent want the vaccine. But the second most likely group to get the vaccine was the youngest group polled, with 64 percent of those 18 to 34 saying they would get it.
The age group least likely to get the vaccine was those age 35 to 44, of whom 56 percent said they would get the vaccine.
Wilson said he did not see major differences based on education level but did see striking racial differences.
Twenty-three percent of Asians said they would get the vaccine right away, compared with 18 percent of whites, 13 percent of Hispanics and just 2 percent of Blacks.
Twenty-three percent of Blacks said they would never get the vaccine, the largest number of any racial group, despite suffering disproportionately from the disease. Overall, 18 percent of respondents said they would never get the vaccine.
One expert said the result made sense.
“One thing I think that sometimes we underestimate particularly in minority communities and in my community, the African American community, is that there’s a true historical context around a fear and a distrust of the medical system that is real,” said Dr. Margot Savoy, an associate professor at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, speaking with journalists in August.
“We talk about the history as though it happened millions of years ago when, for some of us, that happened to our grandparents, who we knew and loved and they were in our lives,” said Savoy, who gives her patients a “very strong, favorable recommendation for vaccines.”
History such as how from the early 1930s until the early 1970s, the U.S. government conducted a study of the effects of untreated syphilis in Black men in Macon County, Alabama, and failed to provide the men with penicillin when the drug became available.
Reasons vary for what is often described as “vaccine hesitancy.”
“Vaccines are a victim of their own success,” said Dr. Walter A. Orenstein, a professor of medicine at Emory University and associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center.
Because vaccines prevent many serious childhood ailments, “Most people have never seen these diseases and so don’t realize the benefits they’re getting.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Contact Mary Hynes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0336. Follow @MaryHynes1 on Twitter.
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