With vaccinations on a marked decline statewide, the City and Borough of Juneau is gathering information about why residents are reticent to receive the COVID shot. Despite opening vaccinations up to anyone over age 16, there has been a sharp decrease in the past week among Alaskans willing to get the shot. According to the state’s website, only 30% of Alaskans have received at least one dose of the shot, and just 21% are deemed “fully vaccinated.”
On March 24, Juneau sent out an online survey, the results of which it says will be made public once it is completed and analyzed. The survey runs through April 11.
The questionnaire inquires into whether a person has been vaccinated. If not, it asks for a rationale. These include concerns about safety, lack of information, unease about the impacts on pregnancy and breastfeeding, issues regarding the shot’s ingredients, religious objections, belief that the benefits of the shot do not outweigh risks, and others.
Survey participants are asked to divulge what would make them reconsider getting the shot. The survey also solicits information on how citizens access COVID news and information – whether they rely on mainstream social media, alternative social media, independent news sources or government websites.
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The survey ends by asking about a participant’s gender, including whether they are female, male, non-binary or other. It also asks for age, occupation, income level, educational background and race.
A total of 52% of Juneau’s population (ages 16 and up) is now considered “fully vaccinated.” The borough, however, continues to aggressively push COVID shots even though the virus threat level is currently listed as “minimal.” With a population of more than 32,000, the borough reports having just 11 active COVID cases, and hospital capacity is considered “stable.”
A recent Pew Research poll reports that 51% of Americans say they already have or “definitely” plan on getting the COVID shot. Another 17% say they will “probably” get it, but 30% say they probably or definitely will not.