One in four Texans are unwilling or won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine, a News/UT-Tyler poll shows – Community News
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One in four Texans are unwilling or won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine, a News/UT-Tyler poll shows

Nearly one in four Texans are unwilling or won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new poll by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler.

And more than a third of parents are unwilling or unlikely to have their children vaccinated, according to the poll.

Although a majority of Texans have received the vaccine, parents seem to be more cautious about vaccinating their children against the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending Pfizer’s pediatric vaccination against COVID-19 for children ages 5 to 11 in early November.

Of the 1,106 registered voters polled by The News and UT-Tyler Nov. 9-16, 18% said they would not take the COVID-19 vaccine and 5% said they were unlikely to take the vaccine. When the 253 parents of children aged 5 to 18 were asked if their children would receive the vaccine, 28% said they would not and 9% said they “probably not” would vaccinate their children.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

The federal government plans to require employees of companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly. Opinions on the proposed mandate were fairly evenly divided in the poll, with 48% of respondents saying they support the mandate and 42% saying they were against it. The other 10% indicate that they are not sure.

Respondents were also divided over Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates, with 48% saying they support the ban, 45% saying they were against it and 7% saying they weren’t sure.

Isidro Galindo, a 63-year-old retired auditor living in Dallas County, said the conflicting information and opinions about mask mandates were frustrating. “You get instructions from the governor and then from the CDC, and it would be nice if they could agree on the mandates,” he said.

In addition to divisions over mask and vaccine mandates, the poll reflected a disagreement between parents deciding whether or not to vaccinate their children.

Heather Zana, a 49-year-old attorney who lives in Williamson County, said she would not vaccinate her two children, who are in high school, because not enough research has been done on the vaccine.

“There should be considerably more research on that, and the information should come out truthfully,” she said.

Zana, who also hasn’t been vaccinated, said she thinks the vaccine was pushed too quickly by federal regulatory measures.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for both adults and children, the Moderna vaccine, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine received emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The Pfizer vaccine has since been fully approved by the FDA.

About 27% of parents surveyed said their child had already been vaccinated, while 21% said their child would definitely get the vaccine and 15% would probably get the vaccine.

Some parents have celebrated the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine for their children. Laura Howe, a mother of 11-year-old twins in Coppell, said in a recent interview with The News that she grabbed the first appointments she could find.

“I remember when I got my first vaccine it was a very emotional moment for me, and I actually cried because it just opened up possibilities that weren’t there before,” said Howe, who did not participate in the poll. “[The twins] just didn’t have that emotional security and physical security.”

Parents who responded to the poll were asked which source of information was most important when considering whether or not to vaccinate their children. Overall, 56% of parents said they looked to medical experts like the CDC, the FDA or their pediatrician when making that decision, said UT-Tyler political scientist Mark Owens, the poll’s director.

Meanwhile, 17% of parents cited ‘my own research’ as ​​the most important source of information when making the decision. Respondents who chose “my own survey” were 10 times more likely to be Republican than Democrat.

Zana, who identifies as a Republican, cited “my own research” as the primary source of information. She said she looks to local, national and international news sources when making her decisions. “Of course, a pediatrician also plays a role,” she said.

About the poll

The Dallas Morning News/UT-Tyler Poll is a nationwide sample of 1,106 registered voters, conducted between Nov. 9 and 16. The mixed sample includes 244 registered voters polled by telephone by the University of Texas at Tyler with support from ReconMR and 866 registered voters randomly selected from Dynata’s panel of online respondents. The margin of error for a sample of 1,106 registered voters in Texas is +/- 2.9 percentage points, and the more conservative sampling error that includes design effects of this poll is +/- 3.2 percentage points for a 95% confidence interval.

The online and telephone surveys were conducted in English and Spanish. Using information from the current 2020 population survey and the office of the Texas Secretary of State. The sample’s gender, age, race/ethnicity, education level, metropolitan density, and vote choice were compared to the population of registered voters in Texas.

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