LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) – Wednesday, a poll from The Foundation for Healthy Kentucky revealed half of Kentucky adults who are hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccine are open to changing their mind if provided with more information.
At least 71% of Kentuckians have been vaccinated or plan to receive a vaccination, the poll found.
“We’ve really got a shot at achieving herd immunity here in Kentucky,” said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “I’m encouraged that vaccine-hesitant people are willing to consider additional information about the vaccines. That’s why our current PSAs directly address common questions and concerns about the vaccines and respond clearly with scientific evidence.”
Public health leaders believe 70 to 85% will need to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.
“The more contagious a disease, the higher the percentage it takes to reach herd immunity. The coronavirus is highly contagious; but, if we can reach the Kentuckians who are reluctant to get a COVID vaccine with facts and data, and half of them decide to get vaccinated, our Commonwealth would be in a much stronger position when it comes to herd immunity,” Chandler said.
According to the poll, 29 of Kentuckians who prefer not to receive or decide not to receive the shot were most likely men, Republican, living in the suburbs or rural communities.
At least 34% of men, 43% of Republicans and 34% to 35% of people living in suburban or rural communities say they would probably not or definitely not get the vaccine.
In comparison, 76% of women, 87% of Democrats, and 70% of Independents, and 80% of those living in an urban area have or intended to take the vaccine.
Those open to changing their mind in time, with more information are Republicans living in suburban or rural communities, and high school graduates. At least 47% of Republicans in suburban counties, 50% in rural counties and 53% of high school graduates are open to changing their mind.
“We’re in a race against increasingly potent variations of the virus,” said Vivian Lasley-Bibbs, Foundation Board Chair and health equity expert. “The nature of viruses is to change, and mutant strains are already circulating within Kentucky’s population. The vaccines give you a level of protection from the mutant strains by reducing serious complications that could lead to death.”
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