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About 22% of Texans say they won't get vaccinated, UH study says

Of those least likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine, a common concern was possible side effects, distrust of the government or feelings the virus was over hyped.

HOUSTON — A University of Houston study has made interesting findings about who plans to get the coronavirus vaccine and which groups do not. 

More than 40 percent of Texans surveyed are interested in getting the vaccine once it becomes available to them, the UH Hobby School of Public Affairs reported Tuesday.

Most public health experts agree that anywhere between 70 to 90 percent of the population would need to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.

However, efforts to distribute the vaccine have been slow in wake of limited availability, logistics issues and public distrust. 

According to the study, about 22 percent of those surveyed answered they definitely will not accept a vaccine. Nine percent said they were undecided, and another 10 percent said probably not.

Distrust of government, fear of side effects among key reasons

In fact, 66 percent of participants who won't get the vaccine expressed concerns about possible side effects or felt it was too new and preferred to wait.

Researchers also reported 58 percent of those resisting the vaccine say they don’t trust the government to ensure it is safe while 57 percent said the same about pharmaceutical companies.

UH found an alarming 44 percent of those against vaccination felt the risks linked to COVID-19 were being greatly exaggerated.

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Republicans, women and those without a four-year college degree

The results suggested women, Republicans and people who did not have a four-year degree were substantially more likely to say they wouldn't get the vaccine. 

The UH study concluded Republicans were more than twice as likely to say they definitely would not get vaccinated, at 28 percent compared to 11 percent of Democrats.

They did find varying uncertainty across racial and ethnic groups, however researchers said the differences weren't substantial.

African-Americans were most uncertain about the vaccine although 48 percent reported they have already been vaccinated or planned to do so.

Meanwhile, nearly 60 percentage of Latinos and a similar percentage of white Americans said they've already been vaccinated or planned to do so.

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