Vaccine-Hesitant Residents Give Feedback That Will Help Shape Future Programs and Vaccine Initiatives
DEKALB COUNTY, GA (March 15, 2022) -– After surveying more than 1,300 residents, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners released insightful data and public feedback on the county’s vaccination roll-out efforts. The survey, which was open to all and aimed to reach those hesitant about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, allowed many to express concerns they had about the vaccine. Questions assessed apprehensions about the vaccines, how residents felt about vaccinating their children and more.
Super District 6 Commissioner Ted Terry said that the survey was a partnership effort between the Board, Community Data Platforms and the National Association of County Officials (NACo). Through this partnership and under the leadership of NACo President and DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johnson, Terry said that the county now has a well-rounded understanding of how constituents feel about the vaccine. This will lead to an evidence-based approach in vaccine policies, especially when reaching out to populations with lower vaccination rates.
“DeKalb will make smarter, more efficient decisions as we seek to fully vaccinate our entire county,” Terry said. “We understand that while DeKalb County as a whole might now be in the ‘green zone’ and lowest risk category, some communities do not have that same reduced risk factor as other areas of the County. These are the places and people we need to be investing our time and resources in.”Commissioner Ted Terry
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, as of Friday, March 11, 58 percent of DeKalb County residents are fully vaccinated and 64 percent have received at least one dose. Twenty-six percent have received a booster.
In this survey, vaccine-hesitant adults were identified as those who have not received any dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or those who indicated they have not and will not obtain a booster dose. All results were kept anonymous.
Survey results included:
- Almost fifty percent of vaccine-hesitant survey takers indicated they would prefer to wait to get any dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Fifty-four percent of vaccine-hesitant survey-takers noted having at least one concern about the vaccine. The most common apprehension was uncertainty surrounding side effects and effectiveness of the vaccine. Other reasons included safety concerns and past treatment of people of color.
- Fifty-three percent of all survey takers strongly agree that the vaccine is safe for children. Currently, children as young as 5 can receive the vaccine.
- More than half of parents who participated indicated that they were vaccinated, and 70 percent indicated they planned to vaccinate their children. Parents concerned with vaccinating their children indicate that side effects are the biggest cause of apprehension.
- Whether vaccinated or not, all survey takers indicated that doctors and national health organizations were the most trusted source of medical information. Seventy-three percent of survey takers also trusted online sources for the latest COVID-19 news.
- Vaccine survey results can be read in full, here: https://surveytoolkit.communitydataplatforms.com/dekalb_county.