COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A smaller percentage of people in the Columbia/Jefferson City area say they are "very likely" to get the coronavirus vaccine, according to a poll by the Missouri Hospital Association.
Adults in the Columbia/Jefferson City area and Springfield had the lowest percentages of those saying they were "very likely" to get the shot. According to the poll, 36% of residents are very likely to get vaccinated, 14% are somewhat likely and 46% said they are not likely to take the vaccine.
The survey looked at adults who have recently voted.
The survey of 800 Missourians was taken during the first week of this month. According to the survey, 58% of Missourians said they are very likely to get the vaccine and 38% said they are not too likely or not likely at all to get the vaccine.
The survey shows that middle-aged adults are least likely to get the vaccine, while older voting adults are more likely to get vaccinated. Of older adults, 79% say they are very likely or somewhat likely to get vaccinated.
The study also finds that Republicans and those who identify as conservative are least likely to get the coronavirus vaccine. Older voting adults, especially men and those who identify as Democrats, are more willing to get vaccinated.
Citizens of Columbia are divided on whether or not to get vaccinated. Some are hesitant because of the side effects that have been reported. Local Columbia resident, Jordan Duane, said he's not planning on receiving the vaccine when it becomes available.
"Ultimately I'm a bit hesitant not because of any conspiracy theories, just maybe the integrity of my body. I'm not even sure if I'd be able to handle it first things first, I've heard the ingredient list is very insignificant, so ultimately I think if it's required I will take it, but if it's not I may just kind of take my chances.", Duane said.
Missouri is in Phase 1A of its vaccination plan, focusing on health-care workers and workers and residents of nursing homes. State officials were expected to provide more information about the start of Phase 1B during a closed briefing Thursday. Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that the state has administered more than 190,000 doses of vaccine.
Phase 1B includes people over 65, those with underlying health conditions that would increase their risk, educators and first responders.
Phase 1B has been organized into 3 different tiers, due to the limited amount of vaccine available. Tier 1 will include first responders, the state plans to begin vaccinating that group this week. Tier 2 includes people over the age of 65 or those who have underlying health conditions that put them at risk to the virus. Tier 3 will include teachers and school staff.
The Columbia Fire Department began vaccinations last Friday. Many firefighters have received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine from the health department. Assistant Chief Brad Fraizer said many of their firefighters have opted-in to receiving the vaccine, but some are still hesitant. The fire department will not require staff to get vaccinated.
"We don't want to see our personnel exposed to COVID-19 but we don't want to expose the citizens that we serve either so we think this is a step in the right direction and we're glad that it's becoming available.", said Fraizer.
The state has reported about 432,000 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. More than 6,200 Missouri residents have died with the virus. Hospitalizations with COVID-19 have remained at near-record levels since November but have dropped slightly in recent days.