More Texans say they're likely to get COVID-19 vaccine, study finds

Friday, December 18, 2020
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A recent survey conducted by the Episcopal Health Foundation found that 63% of Texans are likely to get the vaccine, which is an increase from 59% in September.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Thousands of doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Houston this week. Although health care workers are the first to get the vaccine, will other Texans want the vaccine once it's their turn?

The Episcopal Health Foundation conducted a study to find out.

"The biggest takeaway for me is good news, and that is that the hesitancy has declined since September," President and CEO of Episcopal Health Foundation Elena Marks said. "We asked the same set of questions earlier in the year before the COVID vaccine was on the horizon, and people were more hesitant."

The study found that 63% of Texans are likely to get the vaccine, which is an increase from 59% in September.

There's also fewer people saying it's very unlikely they will get the vaccine.

In December, 20% of Texans said they were very unlikely to get the vaccine, an improvement from the 28% in September.

For African Americans, there's a history of mistrust when it comes to the medical community, and for good reason.

"There is deep-seated mistrust, for good reason, going back to Tuskegee where Black Americans were, frankly, abused, criminally by the health care system," said Marks.

She said more efforts are underway to rebuild that trust.

Marks was pleased to see that, based on the recent survey, more African Americans are likely to get the vaccine.

In December, 59% of Black Texans reported they were likely to get the vaccine, that's up from 49%.

"I think the closer we got to a vaccine, the more people paid attention. When it was theoretical and far away, people didn't necessarily have to decide the way that they'll have to decide now," Marks said. "I mean, when your opportunity comes up, you have to decide, 'Am I going to take it or am I not going to take it?'" Marks said.

As for those who don't want to get the vaccine, the Episcopal Health Foundation, along with other foundations, are working to address people's concerns and make sure all their questions are answered.

"There are pockets of people who are going to be hesitant or reluctant to take the vaccine for all different reasons. In order to convince them, you're going to need very targeted messaging that is delivered at the right time by a trusted messenger," said Marks.

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