Study: 35% of Nevada residents unlikely to get virus vaccine
RENO, Nev. (AP) — A new study found about one-third of Nevada residents currently are unlikely to get vaccinated for COVID-19 but their explanations of their reasoning suggests it’s possible to persuade many to change their minds, one of the lead researchers said.
The month-long study of responses from more than 5,000 Nevada residents and nearly 1,000 additional health care workers found 35% of the public said they were “not at all likely” or “not too likely” to get the vaccine, according to researchers for the University of Nevada, Reno and Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.
Sixty-five percent of the respondents in the study made public Wednesday said they were “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to get vaccinated once it becomes available to them, the study found.
Mark Riddle, associate dean of clinical research and a professor at the UNR medical school, said public health experts estimate 80% to 90% of the population will need to be vaccinated to provide “herd protection” or community immunity to the coronavirus.
As has been the case in similar research across the U.S., factors associated with decreased likelihood of Nevada residents getting the vaccine include race and ethnicity, according to the study conducted Nov. 25 to Dec. 31 by Immunize Nevada, the state Department of Health and Human Services and the UNR School of Community Health Sciences.
Blacks and Hispanics are more hesitant than others to get the vaccine, Riddle said. Those who live in rural areas also are “more vaccine reticent” than those who live in urban areas.
Riddle said he was pleased that the most important factors people cite regarding their decisions related to the vaccine include safety and efficacy.
“Which is really good news because the currently authorized vaccines are very safe and very effective. So, if that’s what people want to see, I think we can do a good job of explaining that,” Riddle told reporters on Wednesday.
Following efficacy of the vaccine and long-term safety, the incidence of major and minor adverse side effects ranked third among the most important factors in receiving the vaccine.
Among the nearly 1,000 health care providers who were questioned, 77% said they likely would get the vaccine.
Riddle said that “broad swath” of health care workers included physicians, nurses and pharmacists, social workers, dental hygienists, medical administrators and laboratory technicians.
Physicians and pharmacists had a higher rate of likelihood than the others, and 83% of the broad group said they would recommend it to their patients, he said.
But among the general public, some of the least important factors in people’s decisions to get vaccinated include the recommendation of vaccine by primary care providers and healthcare providers. The only thing that ranked lower were politician recommendations to be vaccinated.
Other findings in the study of the general population indicated that those with higher levels of education are more likely to get the vaccine than those with lower levels of education.
The likelihood of getting vaccinated rises 5% with each education level — no high school, high school graduate, some college, college graduate and graduate or professional degree.
People 55 and older and in the 18-24 age group are most likely to get vaccinated. For both those age groups, 70% to 75% said they were “somewhat likely” to “very likely” to get it, compared to only 50% to 60% for the age group 25-54.