GULF SOUTH INDEX: NEW DATA: People are on the fence about the COVID-19 vaccine
March 15, 2021
While more people are rolling up their sleeves to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, some Americans are still deciding if they will take the shot.
Our upcoming 2021 Gulf South Index report sheds new light on where people stand in our region in terms of getting the vaccine. The latest results reveal that 51% of those surveyed in the Gulf South would be willing to get an FDA-approved vaccine today if it were available at no cost. In fact, optimism surrounding the pandemic in general. As of today, only 17% of Gulf South residents think the COVID-19 health crisis is getting a lot worse compared to 50% who felt this way in July 2020.
“Reaching the breadth of the population in the Gulf South needed to reach herd immunity here will require the latest outreach technology and likely some long-standing communications tools that we don’t think of as much. Organizations aligning themselves with well-known local athletes, celebrities and other influencers generates awareness and familiarity for citizens, especially on social media and TV. The additional tools required to get where we need to be as a community may call for more direct outreach, including going neighborhood group by neighborhood group. Church by church. We have the data we need to locate people where they are across the Gulf South. We will have to get very specific, though, in the tools used to reach these audiences, learn about any hesitancy or misinformation, and then motivate them to take the next step and get vaccinated,” said Marc Ehrhardt, president and partner of The Ehrhardt Group.
BREAKING DOWN THE DEMOGRAPHICS
Our research found that demographics such as gender, race, age, education and income play a role in the public’s views of the COVID-19 vaccine. We found that 73% of those with a college education and 68% of those with a household income over $100K were ready to take the shot. Lower income households are more likely to say no [31%] or that they are unsure [29%].
Men in our region are also far more open to the vaccine than women. This coincides with the national trend that has been consistent since the fall, when a poll of U.S. voters by The Hill and HarrisX showed that women were 20% less likely than men to get the COVID-19 vaccination. While 69% of male respondents said they’d take the vaccine, only 49% of women agreed.
COMING SOON: 2021 Gulf South Index Report with the latest trends, opinions and insights into the people of the Gulf South.
Why are women less inclined to take the vaccine?
According to a survey by Pew Research Center, women are more likely than men to cite concerns about the fast pace of vaccine development and a lack of information about vaccine effectiveness as the main reasons why they currently do not plan to get it. In the Gulf South, Black women, specifically, are the most likely to say they will not get the vaccine with 37% responding as such and 34% still on the fence. 28% of all women in our region say no and 27% are unsure.
Overall, many people have a wide range of concerns that are contributing to their hesitation in taking the vaccine.
PUBLIC SENTIMENT TOWARD GETTING THE VACCINE
Data from Pew Research Center shows that public intent to get vaccinated is on the rise across the country. Overall, 19% of adults say they have already received at least one dose of the vaccine. 50% say they definitely or probably plan to get vaccinated. Together, 69% of the public has already or plans to get the vaccine – up from the 60% who said they planned to get vaccinated last fall.
However, despite the rise in people planning to take the shot, a notable portion of Americans remain generally opposed to the idea, according to new data released on March 8 from Monmouth University.
Although 60% of respondents have a favorable view of the vaccine rollout to date, 1 in 4 are unwilling to participate themselves.
In the Gulf South, 41% are still extremely concerned about the COVID-19 situation in the United States, down just slightly from 43% in July. The increasing availability of vaccines seems to have alleviated some concerns about the pandemic; however, many in both our region and nationally remain on the fence about taking the vaccine.
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HOW DID WE FIND THIS STUFF OUT?
The Gulf South Index is a cooperative project between The Ehrhardt Group, a public relations, content, issues and crisis firm, and Causeway Solutions, a nationally recognized research and data analysis company, that are both based in the Gulf South.
The Index delves into hundreds of thousands of data points to paint a better picture of how the millions of people living in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle are going about their lives. We want to find out more about how we make decisions, from what we are buying and how we are getting our news to where we plan to travel.
We cannot comment on the methodology of the surveys and research we did not conduct, which is why we do our best to link to the source articles or studies that we share here.