Confused about the new COVID shot? Survey shows what it will take to persuade Americans

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The rollout of the latest COVID vaccine hit some hurdles with shipping delays and insurance confusion. Now, three weeks into the process, many Southern California residents remain disaffected or undecided.

And a new poll shows what it will take to convince Americans. A new survey finds that 1 in 4 American adults say they “definitely” plan to get the new COVID shot.

Another quarter say they will “probably” get it.

“I’ll probably have to wait a little longer before I get it, but I probably will,” said Heather Ford of Atwater Village.

Still, about a third of adults say they “definitely” don’t plan to get the new vaccine, and another 19% say they “probably” won’t.

“I’m already immune to it,” said Ray Xavier of Glendale.

A mid-September survey by researchers at the nonprofit health policy group KFF offers a picture of what health officials are up against.

“I think it reflects the fatigue that we all feel,” said Dr. Otto Yang, an infectious disease expert at UCLA Health.

He said teething hurdles, such as insurance and supply problems, could cause delays to those in the “probably” column.

“If you think you don’t want to get vaccinated, that’s just another excuse, another reason not to do it,” he said.

Yang said misinformation remains a hurdle. Many people do not understand what makes this new vaccine different from the earlier vaccines.

“It’s different because the virus is different,” Yang said. “The vaccine has been updated to reflect one of the recent Omicron subvariants. The idea is that the vaccine needs to change to keep pace with the changing virus.”

If you’re among the many Americans who believe the shot isn’t necessary, Yang has a message for you, too.

“First of all, it’s not all about you,” he said. “If it stops you from getting infected, or if it shortens the period of time that you’re infectious, it’s protecting everyone who could have been infected by you and anyone who could have been infected by them.”

This includes the elderly and those whose immunity is weak. But if you’re still wondering, new research suggests that multiple infections may increase your risk of hospitalization and death.

One reason? What effect can the virus do to your heart?

“We have seen a large increase in heart attacks and strokes from COVID,” he said.

What about long-term Covid? Yang said the risk increases with repeated infections. Online scheduling sites at major pharmacies show more vaccine appointments are available.

The promising part of the survey? Researchers say this suggests that about 40% of Americans could still be persuaded to get vaccinated.

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