Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky poll finds opportunity to increase vaccination rates across Commonwealth, approach herd immunity
Of those reluctant to get the vaccine, people open to changing their mind in time, and with additional information, included large proportions of Republicans, those living in suburban or rural communities, and high school graduates (Republicans – 47 percent, suburban counties – 50 percent, rural counties – 53 percent, high school graduates – 53 percent).
“We’re in a race against increasingly potent variations of the virus,” said Vivian Lasley-Bibbs, Foundation Board Chair and health equity expert. “The nature of viruses is to change, and mutant strains are already circulating within Kentucky’s population. The vaccines give you a level of protection from the mutant strains by reducing serious complications that could lead to death.”
Other trends of note:
Health Status: About half of people who reported their health status as excellent/very good intended to get vaccinated (52 percent definitely or probably get it), while 1 in 3 said they would not (33 percent probably not or definitely not). Fifteen percent had already received the vaccine at the time of the poll.Of those self-reporting as in good or fair/poor health, about 60 percent intended to get the vaccine while 1 in 4 said they probably or definitely would not get it. Sixteen percent of people self-reporting as in “good health” and 14 percent of those in “fair/poor health” had already received the vaccine.
- Education: More than 3 in 4 people who attended or graduated college had already received or intended to receive the vaccine. Meanwhile, about one-third of high school graduates and nearly half of people with less than a high school degree did not intend to get vaccinated.
- Age: Older people were more likely to have already received or intend to get the shot (85 percent for those 65 years+ and 75 percent for those 46 – 64 years). And, while 37 percent of those under 45 years old said they probably or definitely will not get the vaccine, nearly a third of those ages 30 – 45 years said they definitely will not get it, compared with 21 percent of those 18 – 29 years old.
The poll also found Kentuckians split on whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice or part of everyone’s responsibility to protect the health of the community (48 percent and 49 percent, respectively).
Those who see the vaccine as a personal choice include:
- People with less than a high school degree (74 percent)
- Republicans (64 percent)
- Independents (54 percent)
- People living in rural communities (55 percent)
Those who see the vaccine as a community responsibility include:
- Those with some college (57 percent)
- People with college degrees (54 percent)
- Democrats (71 percent)
- People living in urban areas (56 percent)
The Foundation and its partners have recently two launched campaigns to encourage Kentuckians to get vaccinated. The I Got The Shot campaign, launched in partnership with the Kentucky Nurses Association, features Black Kentuckians naming and responding to common concerns, with the ultimate goal of increasing confidence in the vaccine, as well as Kentucky vaccination rates. The premise of the Take It From Me campaign, launched with the Kentucky Hospital Association, Kentucky Medical Association and Kentucky Primary Care Association, is that vaccine-hesitant adults may be more likely to take the shot if they know someone who has already received it.