A new Civil Beat/HNN poll shows that three-quarters of those surveyed — 75% — say they have already received at least one dose of the vaccination for COVID-19.
Another 4% say they will get the shots as soon as possible while 5% say they are waiting to get their first injection.
The numbers appear to bode well for achieving herd immunity from the coronavirus in the state — defined as occurring when a large enough portion of a community becomes immune to a disease, making spread unlikely. Just 12% of those surveyed say they won’t be getting the shots.
“That is very good news for Hawaii,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green, a medical doctor who serves as the COVID liaison for the Ige administration. “And we will likely get to herd immunity sometime in the summer.”
Green said that that will probably require, however, some adolescents to also be vaccinated “because there are 310,000 people 18 years of age and younger that were probably not polled.”
The latest Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now poll was conducted April 16-21, and sampled 1,506 registered voters statewide. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
The survey was conducted using a combination of interactive voice response technology and a survey administered online. The touch-tone version was conducted by contacting landline telephones, while the online version was conducted by texting cellphones and linking poll participants to an online survey optimized for smartphones.
On Monday, the most recently available state Department of Health numbers showed that more than 760,100 people — or 53% of the state — have received at least one dose to date, while more than 495,600 people — or 35% — of the state population have been fully vaccinated.
UPDATED: On Tuesday, DOH said 62.57% of its vaccine-eligible population of people at least 16 years old were fully vaccinated.
Why the difference in the survey numbers and the DOH stats? Our pollster, MRG Research, said the survey is representative of the state’s registered voters, not the general public, and that registered voters are more likely to engage with a survey. Registered voters skew older and older people are more likely to take the vaccine.
According to the new poll, support for getting vaccinated drew broad support from most demographic groups — i.e., gender, ethnicity, education, income level — but age was a major factor in how voters responded.
Of those surveyed who were age 50 and above, 82% said they had already received their first jab. Of those aged 18 to 49, however, just 60% have received their first injection and 22% said they will take a pass.
Matthew Fitch, managing partner of MRG Research, which conducted the Civil Beat Poll, was not surprised by the results given that older voters are, generally speaking, likely to be vaccinated.
“They are older and more affluent, and the order in which people were able to be vaccinated is very age-driven,” he said. “This is always the case.”
Other key revelations from the poll are that 61% of those surveyed think people should be required to show proof that they have been vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to attend public events such as concerts and sporting events or to travel by plane. Just under one-third — 29% — don’t feel a so-called vaccine passport is necessary.
Fitch said age was again the critical factor: “It means older respondents want to be more protected.”
Political ideology also played a role in how people responded. Significant majorities of those identifying as Democrat, liberal-progressive or moderate favored the passport mandate, while majorities of Republicans and conservatives opposed it.
Another survey question revealed that over 50% of those polled statewide would like to see Hawaii change its rules so that people who can show proof that they have had the vaccine would no longer be required to quarantine or test negative.
According to the Ige administration, starting May 11 individuals fully vaccinated in the state may travel interisland without pre-travel testing or quarantine starting the 15th day after the completion of their vaccination.
The trans-Pacific program (including the continental U.S.) is still in development and may begin this summer, while the international program is set to begin later this year. There are currently no plans for vaccine passports to attend large public events, and they should not be confused with vaccination cards from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One other interesting takeaway from the latest Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now poll is that a slight majority of those surveyed (53%) think employers should require their workers have the vaccine when it’s available.
“Democrats and progressives are OK with requiring the vaccine but conservatives and Republicans are not,” said Fitch.
Jan Brookshier is among those surveyed who have already been vaccinated. She and her husband received the Pfizer shots at Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waimea.
“To me it’s a no-brainer,” said Brookshier, who is in her 70s. “The companies figured out a way to help us and to keep us from getting COVID-19, and the minute we had the chance, we took it.”
She also said it was “really a silly question” as to whether employers should require their workers to get the vaccine, meaning that the obvious answer is yes.
“This is about protecting yourself and your loved ones, and right now Hawaii is seeing a big jump in cases.”
Brookshier said she would not allow customers into her photo gallery in Hanapepe if they cannot show proof of vaccination. The gallery has been closed during the pandemic except for allowing a few customers when Brookshier happens to be in the shop.
Poka Laenui, who turns 75 this week, has also received his two Moderna vaccinations. The Air Force veteran from Waianae was inoculated at Tripler Army Medical Center.
“Vaccines to me are part of our way of life,” he explained. “I realize there is a debate over whether you need to take it, but I hate to wait until the debate is settled.’
He added, “Also, it’s free. Just take the damn thing.”
Not so for Leinani Cambra of Kaneohe, however. The 43-year-old said the truth about the vaccine will not come through the “lame-stream” media, which includes CNN.
“There is so much information out there from alternative media that is not getting through,” said Cambra, who is self-employed. “We are not getting the facts. I have seen so many videos and websites and evidence from medical professionals. Lots of people are sticking their necks out and I am for all of them.”
Cambra says Americans should not believe the CDC, the World Health Organization, the Biden administration and Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“You are pushing us into a Communist state,” she said. “No one knows what the long-term effects are. I think too many people in Hawaii are being led to the slaughterhouse. This should be a person’s choice.”
Coming Wednesday: Approval ratings for top political leaders in Hawaii.
Read the full results of Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now poll here:
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