LARAMIE — A majority of Wyoming residents are willing to be vaccinated for COVID-19, according to a University of Wyoming survey.
With reports that a vaccine for the novel coronavirus will soon be available to the public, 31 percent of survey respondents said they would definitely take the vaccine, and 27 percent said they would probably take the vaccine.
Thirteen percent of Wyomingites sampled responded that they probably would not take the vaccine, and 23 percent responded that they definitely would not.
Telephone interviews with 614 Wyoming residents selected at random were conducted in mid-October by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center’s Survey Research Center. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Jim King, a UW professor of political science and the survey’s director, says the results for Wyoming reflect polls conducted nationally.
“Having three-fifths of Wyomingites willing to take the vaccine places the state’s residents in line with the nation as a whole,” King says.
Recent nationwide surveys by Gallup and the Pew Research Center, respectively, found 58 percent and 60 percent of Americans intending to take the vaccine.
Willingness to receive the vaccine is related to concern regarding the coronavirus. In the Wyoming survey, 42 percent of respondents were worried that they or a family member would contract the coronavirus; 42 percent of respondents were not worried; and 16 percent have had a family member contract the virus.
According to King, 78 percent of those expressing worry or who have already had a family member contract the virus are prepared to take the vaccine. This compares to only 39 percent of those not worried about contracting the virus.
Asked why they did not expect to get the coronavirus vaccine, 40 percent of the survey’s respondents answered that they do not trust vaccines in general, and 49 percent answered that they did not think it is necessary in this case.
“There is a definite pattern related to age in the responses to this question,” King says. “Fifty-five percent of respondents over the age of 50 indicated that they don’t trust vaccines in general, while 62 percent of those under age 50 said they didn’t think a vaccine is necessary.”
Biennial surveys of Wyoming residents are conducted by UW’s School of Politics, Public Affairs and International Studies in partnership with the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center and other university offices. The questions focus on attitudes toward government, elected officials, candidates for office and contemporary policy issues.