More Hawaii residents now open to COVID-19 vaccine, says state health department

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Have you thought about getting the COVID-19 vaccine? According to the state Department of Health, 91% of respondents in a recent statewide survey said they have plans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Health officials believe it’s a strong indication that attitudes about the vaccine are rapidly shifting since administration of the vaccinations first began in December of 2020.

According to the survey commissioned by the Hawaii Department of Health, 55% plan to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible and 36% intend to wait before receiving their vaccinations. The survey included 445 full-time residents statewide.

Previous surveys conducted by the Hawaii Department of Health and the University of Hawaii before vaccinations became available in Hawaii showed about 50% of residents would accept COVID-19 vaccine, while the other half indicated they did not plan to get vaccinated or were still undecided.

“This is a positive change in a relatively short time,” said Hawaii Department of Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char. “As we anticipated, those who were initially hesitant about getting the vaccine are now much more comfortable as they see family, friends, co-workers and others safely receiving their first and second doses.”

The survey also showed that more than a third of Hawaii residents are less concerned about the impact the virus may have on their health and are instead primarily focused on the pandemic’s economic and financial impact.

Of those who view the threat of COVID-19 primarily in terms of its economic and financial impact, the DOH said 14% do not plan to get vaccinated. By contrast, of those who view the pandemic as more of a health crisis, 5% indicated they do not plan to be vaccinated. These attitudes represent less than 10% of the population studied.

The study went further to reveal that age and education may also influence views of the vaccine. According to survey results, young adults are least likely to get vaccinated as soon as it becomes available to them. The DOH says only 35% of those under the age of 35 shared that they intend to get the vaccine. This number rises to 51% among those between the ages of 35 and 49, 61% among those between the ages of 50 and 64 and rises to 78% among seniors who are age 65 and above.

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