APH survey shows why people are choosing to get vaccinated months after shots became available


FILE – In this Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 file photo, vials for the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are displayed on a tray at a temporary clinic set up by the New Hampshire National Guard in the parking lot of a high school in Exeter, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Preliminary results from an Austin Public Health and Travis County survey show even among people who got vaccinated recently in our area, more people had doubts about the vaccine than didn’t.

The data, which comes from a survey given to people at local vaccine clinics, showed of the 339 early respondents, roughly 68% of them said they had felt hesitant or reluctant to get the COVID-19 vaccine over the past year.

Highlighting people’s initial concerns

In that survey, people were asked to share why they had concerns. Respondents could choose more than one response, and based on the data, more than 55% said they have not been sure the vaccine is safe. Just under 49% said they were concerned about long-term side effects of the vaccine.

Only 3.2% of the respondents said their personal, cultural or spiritual beliefs held them back from getting a vaccine.

It’s important to note that the people being surveyed were at a vaccine clinic, and therefore represent someone who ultimately ended up getting their vaccine. There are still roughly 225,000 people in Travis County who are unvaccinated.

Why didn’t you get the vaccine sooner?

All respondents were also asked to say why they had not been vaccinated sooner. Of all of the reasons, most said they were waiting for a specific kind of vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine recently received full FDA approval.

Why people ended up getting vaccinated

People surveyed were also asked to mark reasons why they ultimately ended up getting vaccinated. The most common answer was that someone had learned more about the vaccine and changed their mind. That was followed closely by people’s concerns about the delta variant, having family and friends encourage them to get it and feeling a sense of responsibility to the community.

Where people are getting their COVID-19 information

The respondents were also asked to identify their top three sources they consult about health. The most common answer was a personal doctor, followed by the news, family and nurses. More than 20% of the respondents also said they got health information from social media.

Of the 339 respondents, roughly half were male and half were female. More than 40% identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino and 16.1% identified themselves as Black or African American.

APH says these are preliminary results and they will publish results at the survey’s conclusion.

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