Hawaii residents who are most hesitant about getting a COVID-19 vaccine largely appear to be younger, from low-income households or from marginalized communities, according to a survey commissioned by the state Department of Health.

Nearly 500 Hawaii residents were surveyed between April 20 and May 3 — 68% of whom said they had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Of the remainder, 8% had scheduled an appointment to get vaccinated, another 3% said they planned to do so when it is available to them, 12% said they are still waiting and 9% said they do not intend to get the vaccine at all.

Zinfandel Josiah receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Registered Nurse Janet Sinclair at the Waimanalo Health Center.
Health authorities say disparities among those getting vaccinated against COVID-19 show the importance of improving outreach. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

DOH officials said Tuesday in a press release that the findings “confirmed the need to make vaccinations more accessible for those who face health and social disparities.”

Vaccination rates were higher among more affluent survey respondents, with 78% of those who lived in households with combined incomes in excess of $100,000 reporting they had received at least one COVID-19 shot, compared to 55% of those living in households with income less than $50,000.

The margin of error for the 482-person sample size is plus or minus 4.46 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.

In general, older adults were more likely to have been vaccinated for COVID-19, the survey found. People 18 to 35 years old were the least likely to have been vaccinated. Slightly more than half of respondents in that young adult age category indicated they were vaccinated, while 92% of seniors reported being vaccinated.

The survey, conducted by Anthology Research, found attitudes toward vaccines among residents with at least one child are warming.

Approximately 63% who had at least one child said they would allow their child to be vaccinated if it is recommended to do so by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, up by 5 percentage points compared to the prior survey time period.

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