Getting a coronavirus vaccine in Colorado may depend on a person’s party affiliation, as a new poll shows that Republican voters are less likely to be vaccinated than their Democratic and unaffiliated counterparts.
Magellan Strategies found that only 55% of registered Colorado voters who have not yet been vaccinated want to receive the vaccine when it becomes available to them. The share rises to 89% among Democrats and 57% among unaffiliated voters.
But only 29% of Republicans said they would get a vaccine against the Coronavirus, according to the poll. Meanwhile, 57% said they would not be vaccinated while 12% said they did not.
“I think vaccination has been, arguably, politicized,” said David Flaherty, who leads Magellan Strategies, a policy advisory group based in Louisville.
The question of the vaccine was asked to 420 registered voters as part of a broader survey conducted between February 9 and February 17. The margin of error in responses to the question is 5 percentage points.
Colorado health officials are already working to convince communities of color who are skeptical about the vaccine that it is safe. The partisan divide, which has been reflected in other polls in Colorado about the coronavirus vaccine, could add another element of difficulty to convince enough people to vaccinate for the pandemic to fade.
Dr Eric France, chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said the goal is to vaccinate 70% of the population.
“I think if we maintain our current pace, we should be there,” he said in a phone call to reporters on Thursday.
So far, demand for vaccines has been higher than supply, so the country has had no problems with people turning down the opportunity to be vaccinated.
“There may be a time near the end of all this effort when we must now work to encourage people to get vaccinated,” he said. “But at this point, and maybe in the next three to four months, the vaccines are only coming out because there are all these people who want to get them.”
Magellan found that those who did not want to get the vaccine often said they did not trust the science behind the vaccine or believed it was unsafe. Others said they did not think it was necessary.
“I’m honestly not interested in a vaccine that targets a virus that has a cure rate of 99.95%,” a suburban millennial Republican told Magellan. “I trust my personal decisions regarding a healthy lifestyle, vitamins, and the immune system to do what needs to be done in order to thrive.
Another Republican elector, a man who lives in an urban area, said: He has not been tested. It alters the DNA.
COVID-19 in Colorado
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- Direct Blog: The latest in closings, restrictions, and other major updates.
- a map: Cases and deaths in Colorado.
- Tests: Here’s where to find the community testing site. The state now encourages anyone showing symptoms to get tested.
- Vaccine Hotline: Get updated information.
- a story: Colorado is keen to receive its first shipment of a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine next week
no need. The current cure rate from COVID is 98% without a vaccine.
Among those who said they are hesitant or unsure about getting the vaccine, Magellan said concern about safety and necessity is of the utmost importance as well.
“I’ve scheduled an appointment to get the vaccine, but I’m not sure if it’s safe for me,” said a small-town Democrat who was born in Magellan.
Vaccines work by helping to train the immune system to better fight the Coronavirus. Contrary to the misinformation circulating on social media, none of the vaccines that have already been approved or are in the pipeline alter people’s DNA.
And although the survival rate is generally high among young people who develop COVID-19, the disease can also cause long-term organ and nerve damage, costly hospital stays, and sometimes permanent disability.
The full Magellan poll included 769 registered Colorado voters, with a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. Weighted to take into account the state’s demographic and voter registration. As of February, 42% of Colorado voters were unaffiliated, 30% were registered as Democrats and 27% were registered as Republicans.
Sixty per cent said they were very or somewhat worried that a loved one had contracted the coronavirus, and 66 per cent said the epidemic had had a negative impact on their mental health.
Magellan also asked participants about their feelings about the government’s response to COVID-19. They found that:
- 39% agreed with the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic, while 59% were against and 2% said they had no opinion or did not know. Among Republicans, 83% agreed with the previous administration’s response, while only 3% of Democrats agreed.
- 53% agreed with the Biden administration’s handling of the pandemic, while 36% opposed and 10% said they have no opinion or do not know.
- 56% of Gov. Jared Polis has dealt with the pandemic, while 37% opposed and 7% said they either do not have an opinion or do not know.
“The mid-1950s is where we got the approval of Jared Police’s job to deal with the Coronavirus – it’s been very consistent for more than a year,” Flaherty said.
Among unaffiliated voters, 60% said they approve of a police response to the coronavirus, 34% said they disagree, and 6% said they had no opinion or did not know. Among the Democrats, 79% said they agree with the governor’s handling of the pandemic, 14% said they disagree, and 8% said they do not have an opinion or do not know.
Only 28% of Republicans said they approve of Police’s pandemic response, with 65% saying they disagree, and 6% saying they don’t have an opinion or don’t know.
About half of those surveyed said they approve of the job their county and local governments are doing to tackle the coronavirus.
“I think trust in government is a good thing,” Flaherty said.
Magellan plans to release more Coloradans mood surveys about coronavirus in the coming weeks.
Colorado Sun writer Lucy Haggard contributed to this report.