Vaccine poll: More people willing, but stark disparities among recipients remain

A new poll commissioned by Newark-based nonprofit Project Ready shows an increase in the number of New Jersey voters who say they are willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, with the largest gain among Hispanic voters. At the same time, there are stark racial disparities among who has received the vaccine to date.

The poll showed the number of voters willing to be vaccinated increased from 60% in November 2020 to 71% in a poll taken in February.

In addition, although white voters (71%) are slightly more likely to say they would receive the vaccine than Black voters (62%), they are three times as likely to say they have already received the vaccine (18% to 6%).

The survey of 960 voters was conducted by Change Research from Feb. 12-15, as the nation ramps up distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. (See the methodology here.)

Project Ready Executive Director Shennell McCloud said the poll shows there are still issues over vaccinating.

“While it’s encouraging to see acceptance of the vaccine increase, we clearly have more work to do to ensure that the distribution is equitable,” she said. “We encourage state leaders to double down on efforts to engage communities of color when it comes to the vaccine.”

Here’s a breakdown of some of the results:

Willingness to receive vaccine:

  • Hispanics: 55% to 77%;
  • Blacks: 61% to 62%;
  • Independents: 47% to 64%.

Willingness to get vaccine based on political party:

  • Republicans: 46%;
  • Democrats: 91%.

Reasons people refuse vaccine:

  • Want to wait to confirm it is safe: 24%;
  • Don’t trust vaccines generally: 18%.

Do you trust vaccines:

  • Blacks: 31% said they do not;
  • Whites: 15% said they do not.

State’s rollout of vaccine program:

  • Positive or negative: 59% said negative;
  • Blacks: 57% said positive;
  • Hispanics: 49% said positive;
  • Whites: 27% said positive.

State’s rollout of vaccine program by party:

  • Democrats: 58% said “excellent” or “good”
  • Independents: 49% said “excellent” or “good”
  • Whites: 27% said “excellent” or “good”