Getting the coronavirus vaccine in Colorado may depend on a person’s political party affiliation, with a new poll showing Republican voters are far less likely to get inoculated than their Democratic and unaffiliated counterparts.
Magellan Strategies found that only 55% of registered voters in Colorado who haven’t been inoculated yet want to receive a vaccine when it becomes available to them. The share rises to 89% among Democrats and 57% among unaffiliated voters.
Only 29% of Republicans said they’d get a coronavirus vaccine. Meanwhile, 57% said they would not get inoculated and 12% were undecided.
“I think that the vaccination has, arguably, been politicized,” said David Flaherty, who leads Magellan Strategies, a political consulting group based in Louisville.
The vaccine question was posed to 420 registered voters between Feb. 9 and Feb. 17. It has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.
Colorado health officials are already working to convince communities of color that are skeptical of the vaccine that it’s safe. The partisan split, mirrored in other Colorado polling on the coronavirus vaccine, could add another element of difficulty to convincing enough people to get inoculated so that the pandemic fizzles out.
Dr. Eric France, chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said the goal is to get 70% of the population vaccinated.
“I think if we keep up with our current pace we should be there,” he said on a call with reporters last week.
Demand for vaccines has been higher than supply, so the state hasn’t seen problems with people turning down the chance to get inoculated.
“There may be a time toward the end of all this effort where now we’ve got to work at encouraging people to be vaccinated,” he said. “But at this point, and probably for the next three to four months, it’s really just getting vaccines out because there’s all those people who want to get it.”
Others said they don’t believe it’s necessary.
“I honestly don’t care for a vaccine that targets a virus that has a 99.95% recovery rate,” one Republican, a millennial who lives in the suburbs, told Magellan. “I trust in my personal healthy lifestyle decisions, vitamins and immune system to do what it needs to do.”
Another Republican voter who is a man and lives in an urban area said: “Untested. Alters DNA.”
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