Poll: North Carolinians are increasingly willing to take a COVID-19 vaccine

North Carolinians’ willingness to take a COVID-19 vaccine as grown over the last few months, though people are worried about side effects, according to an Elon University Poll released this week.

Forty-five percent of participants in a survey conducted in late January said they would get a COVID-19 vaccine when they could – an increase from 40.5% in December – and 12% said they had already been vaccinated.

The vaccine roll-out has been rocky in North Carolina and nationally. There’s not enough vaccine for everyone who wants it, and appointments to get shots can be hard to arrange. Forty-three percent of the poll’s respondents disapproved of the way the federal government has handled vaccine distribution.

The poll of 1,455 state residents was conducted Jan. 29-31.

A majority – 63% – said they were very worried or somewhat worried about vaccine side effects.

Twenty percent said they won’t take a COVID-19 vaccine, a finding largely unchanged from December.

Of those who have not already been vaccinated, 58% of college graduates said they would get shots when they can, while 39% of people without college degrees said the same.

There’s an age gap: people who are 65 and older are more certain they want to be vaccinated than younger people.

There’s a partisan gap: 52% of Democrats said they would be vaccinated when they are able, while 40% of Republicans and 40% who claim no party affiliation said the same.

There’s an 11-point racial gap: 47% of white residents said they would get shots, while 36% of Black residents said they would.

Fifty-two percent of men said they plan to take a COVID-19 vaccine, while 37% of women said they would.

The state is in phase two of its vaccine roll-out. Vaccines the state allocates are available to health care workers and people 65 and older.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that teachers, other school personnel, and childcare workers will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines starting Feb. 24. Other frontline workers who are in group 3 can start getting vaccinated on March 10, he said.

Cooper’s office said in a news release that more than 40% of state residents 65 and older have been vaccinated.

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