Almost 1 in 5 Cincinnati-area residents who aren't vaccinated against COVID-19 say they will not get inoculated, and about 1 in 4 say they either want it or haven't decided yet.
The responses come from a newly released Interact for Health poll, called the COVID-19 Health Issues Survey. The Kenwood-based nonprofit, which advocates for health initiatives in 20 counties in the region, held a webinar about the survey Thursday with the community and its health partners.
"The survey is a snapshot in time," Interact for Health spokeswoman Emily Gresham-Wherle said.
The Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati conducted the online poll, to which 502 people in the region responded, from July 7-16.
"There's a good number of people who want to get vaccinated or are haven't decided yet," said Colleen Desmond, an Interact for Health research associate who provided the survey results online with her team. The reason for stalling, according to this survey, seem to be largely access and trust.
Those who took part in the survey were asked whether they were vaccinated, and if not, why not? Is it easy to find a convenient location to get the vaccine? (Yes, most said.) And more questions.
Interact's data show 56% said they had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine – with 89% of these respondents fully vaccinated – and 44% had not. Among those who hadn't, 18% said they had not decided whether they'll get vaccinated, 19% said they "definitely will not" and 7% said they "definitely will."
The survey results also explored why there is vaccine hesitancy here.
Most who didn't plan to get vaccinated – 72% – shared this reason: "I want to confirm it is safe," the survey shows.
And when asked whom they'd trust for such information, respondents said they most trusted their physician or a health care provider; next, a pharmacist; and after that, their local public health department.
Governor Andy Beshear held another Team Kentucky Update Thursday.
This week’s update came amid a special session of the General Assembly the governor called for over the weekened to address COVID-related issues. Thursday is the special session’s third day.
Gov. Beshear began his Team Kentucky update Thursday on a grim note. He said 60 of the state’s 96 hospitals are operating under critical staffing shortages.
“Our hospital situation has never been more dire in my lifetime than it is right now,” Beshear said. “We cannot handle more sick individuals.”
The governor also said Thursday the state currently has fewer ICU beds available than it has at any other point during the pandemic, now 18 months in.
Beshear said he has called the Kentucky National Guard in to 21 more hospitals around the state to offer logistical and administrative support. The Kentucky National Guard already has been assisting at hospitals in Morehead, Hazard, Bowling Green and Pikeville, but will now help at a total of 24 hospitals across Kentucky.