ADPH poll finds vaccine hesitancy ‘among all groups’

Published 12:33 pm Monday, March 29, 2021

A poll conducted by the Bruno Event Team on behalf of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) to examine and better understand reluctance among minority groups – African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos and Tribal Nations – to receive the COVID-19 vaccine found “reluctance exists among all groups and authenticity is needed in messaging,” according to an ADPH press release.

According to the press release, a federal grant funded the poll of 1,000 individuals, taken earlier this month, and included an “oversample” of the specified groups, as well as other ethnicities, though not in proportion to their percentage of the population.

Among the polls key findings were the following:

• Reluctance exists among all groups – not just those specified, and primary driver of hesitancy is the speed with which the vaccine was developed, with people also worried about long-term side effects of the vaccine and expressing distrust of government;

• African-Americans are “highly sensitive” to being “targeted,” a fact that turned up in multiple focus groups, and campaigns must be “authentic” and appeal to broader populations to be effective;

• Hispanics/Latinos worried about deportation, while all three groups expressed concern over a lack of insurance or the cost of receiving a vaccine;

• Despite hesitancy, research shows that all three groups take COVID-19 seriously;

• A campaign must convince minority populations to get the vaccine on their own rather than make them feel they are being “forced” to get it.

According to the study, the most impactful messaging was that the vaccine could safely save lives, that the virus isn’t going away anytime soon, that every person plays a role in keeping their communities safe, that vaccines have eradicated past diseases, that the virus is more dangerous than the vaccine and the appeal of “regular life” and being together with loved ones.