Rutgers poll asks why NJ adults are hesitant about getting COVID vaccine
When asked in the fall, close to 50% of New Jersey adults in a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll were not on board with receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Today, just one in six adults remain unwilling, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton findings. And more than half of the parents surveyed say they will definitely or probably get their child vaccinated when one is available for their child's age group.
In the poll results released on Thursday, 73% of New Jerseyans say they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; another 10% say they're likely to roll up their sleeve for a shot.
According to state data, more than 50% of New Jersey's adults have been fully vaccinated so far; many more have received one dose a two-shot regimen. The state wants to see at least 70% of adults fully vaccinated by the end of of June.
Sixteen percent of poll respondents said they definitely won't or probably won't receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Potential side effects are the biggest concern among folks unwilling to get vaccinated. More than half of the hesitant respondents said a "major reason" is that they feel they don't need the shot. Forty-nine percent of this group said nothing would make them more likely to get the vaccine; a smaller percentage said they just need more time or more information.
"The enduring nature of vaccine hesitancy for a small yet notable portion of the population in New Jersey resembles what we are seeing throughout the rest of the country," said Ashley Koning, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling.
Koning noted that older residents, residents earning higher income, and residents with higher levels of education are all more likely to say that they've received at least one vaccine dose.
"Republicans and independents are twice as likely as Democrats to report not getting a single dose yet," she added.
Depending on how the question was asked by a Rutgers-Eagleton poll in November, before Pfizer and Moderna's initial news of successful trials, between 37% and 47% of New Jerseyans said they likely wouldn't or definitely wouldn't get vaccinated against COVID-19. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they'd definitely or probably get the vaccine when it was described as simply "a vaccine."
In the latest poll, 36% of parents said they will definitely get their child vaccinated when a proper vaccine is made available. Another 22% said they will probably get their child vaccinated, and 7% already have.
As of now, children as young as 12 are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine.