Karin Teske and Marissa Rurka discuss new survey findings about COVID vaccine hesitancy and avoidance

June 10, 2021 | In The Media, Michigan Radio

covid vaccine interviewMichigan Radio’s Kate Wells quotes Karin Teske and Marissa Rurka senior analysts at the Center for Health and Research Transformation (CHRT), in “Here are the biggest reasons Michiganders say they don’t want the COVID vaccine.”

The article describes CHRT’s recent analysis of vaccine hesitancy and avoidance, using data from a supplemental Cover Michigan survey that examined trends in vaccination rates and the reasons why Michiganders may be choosing to delay or avoid vaccination.

Teske notes that uninsured people were three times less likely to have received at least one dose of vaccine compared to those who were insured, explaining that those who “don’t have insurance [and] don’t have a medical home, may not be interacting with the health system as often and receiving those trusted messages about the safety and efficacy of the COVID vaccine.”

Teske also touches on the finding that 83 percent of those who didn’t intend to get vaccinated reported that they believe the vaccine “is too new and I want to wait to see how it works for other people,” noting this information “is pretty encouraging: the fact that we would hope that, over time, that concern might be alleviated as people see that the vaccine is safe and effective.”

The survey also found that hesitancy and avoidance reasons differed by race, and, as Rurka explains, “understanding what some of the most common concerns are [for different communities] is a helpful guide moving forward, to try and tailor messages to two different groups.”

For example, says Rurka, “we saw that respondents who were Black and Latino/Hispanic, were more concerned about the vaccine [itself],” compared to white respondents who were more likely to think they weren’t at risk for COVID-19 transmission.