Study: More Americans opening up to COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The latest survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows hesitancy among the American public is slowly shifting on the COVID-19 vaccine.

In December, just one-third of Americans said they would get the vaccine as soon as possible. The survey also showed 39% wanted to wait and see and 24% were against it.

With nearly 30% of American adults having received at least one dose, 30% are now saying they will get it as soon as possible. Just 17% are now in “wait and see” mode, and 20% are against it.

Local health officials say the new numbers are calling encouraging.

“Especially from what the first surveys we saw back in December, January and that was kind of dismal for those of us in the vaccine world, it scared us a little bit. And now there’s hope that people realize that this is working and that this is an effective tool to get on top of COVID-19,” Toni Bulthuis, immunization supervisor at the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, said.

The Kaiser study shows white evangelicals and people who identify as Republicans are most likely to say they will never get the vaccine — both groups coming in at around 30%. The survey shows young adults and Black adults make up an outsized portion of the “wait and see” group.

Officials in Ottawa County say their data looks similar and they are working hard to persuade people.

“If you’re in the ‘wait and see’ phase, what we’d say is, keep an open mind. Listen to the experts when they are talking to us about the information that’s out there. The vaccine is safe, the vaccine is effective and its going to do you a lot of good right now, in particular with case rates increasing,” Derel Glashower, senior epidemiologist at the Ottawa County Health Department, said.

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