Southern, Western State Residents Less Willing to Get COVID-19 Vaccine

High percentages of Americans in some Southern and Western states say they will either probably not or definitely not get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to them, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

[READ: States’ Progress on Administering the COVID-19 Vaccines]

Data released in late January through the bureau’s biweekly Household Pulse Survey and analyzed by U.S. News shows that more than a third of respondents in Louisiana, Mississippi, Idaho, Alabama, Wyoming, Montana and South Carolina are not likely — either definitely not or probably not — to get the vaccine. Overall, more than half — 51% — of those surveyed in the U.S. said they will definitely get vaccinated when possible.

The survey is designed to collect data on how people’s lives have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Census Bureau, and the most recent information came from responses collected Jan. 6-18. The third and most recent phase of the project included a new series of questions about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Nearly 40% of respondents in Louisiana will either definitely not or probably not get vaccinated — by far the highest rate among states. More than 17% of those surveyed in the state said they will definitely not get a COVID-19 vaccine, which was the highest percentage for that response. Indiana (17%) and Montana (16.7%) had the next highest rates of respondents who said they will definitely not get vaccinated.

On the other end of the spectrum, Rhode Island had the highest percentage of respondents — 88% — who said they will either probably or definitely get a vaccine when it is available. People surveyed in Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Washington, Delaware and New Hampshire had similarly high rates. Nearly 65% of respondents in Washington, D.C., said they would definitely get vaccinated when possible — the highest percentage for the “definitely” response in the survey.

Vaccination rollout data shows, however, that attitudes toward the COVID-19 vaccine do not necessarily reflect how states are faring. About 3.8% of people in Louisiana have received both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as of Feb. 8 — one of the higher rates among states, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data compiled and analyzed by USAFacts. And about 30% of survey respondents each in Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia said they are not likely to get a vaccine, but those four states have already vaccinated comparatively high percentages of their populations.

Beyond state differences, the bureau’s survey data also shows age and racial disparities in attitudes toward the COVID-19 vaccine. While 71% of respondents aged 65 and older said they would definitely get vaccinated when possible, only 41% of people aged 18-29 and 30-44 said they would definitely get it. And while a majority of Asian (66%) and white (55.5%) respondents said they would definitely get the vaccine, those rates were much lower for Black (29.6%) and Hispanic or Latino (47.3%) respondents, according to the bureau.

[MAP: The Spread of Coronavirus]

The Census Bureau notes that because the Household Pulse Survey is experimental and “designed to be a short-turnaround instrument that provides valuable data to aid in the pandemic recovery,” some data might not meet the bureau’s statistical quality standards.

More from U.S. News

States’ Progress on Administering the COVID-19 Vaccines

The States Struggling the Most During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Study: The States That Are Leading and Lagging in COVID-19 Vaccinations

Southern, Western State Residents Less Willing to Get COVID-19 Vaccine originally appeared on usnews.com

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