As scientists race to release a safe COVID-19 vaccine, a new study shows 57% of Californians would likely take a COVID-19 vaccine if it were available today. NBC 7 checked in with a handful of people, at random, who shared the same opinions as those in the study, when categorized by race or ethnicity.
The study conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California surveyed 1,701 Californians. The findings proved only 29% of people surveyed who identified as Black said they’d likely take a COVID-19 vaccine if it were available, followed by 54% of those who identified as Latino, 62% who identified as White said they’d take the vaccine and 70%of Asian Americans surveyed said they’d take the vaccine.
NBC 7 spoke with local San Diegans who identify themselves in each of these categories.
“Most people in the Asian community is willing to do whatever helps the community,” said Toshi Gibson, who identifies as Japanese American, said he would take a COVID-19 vaccine if it was approved and available to the public.
Michael Maddux, who identifies as White, said he would take the vaccine too.
“If it went through all the approval processes then I would have no reason not to take it. I believe in science,” Maddux said.
According to the study, Latinos were split. Fifty-four percent were willing to take the vaccine, while 46% were not. NBC 7 talked with two Latina COVID-19 survivors this week, and they each had different opinions about the vaccine.
“A lot of people I hear say, ‘I’m not going to take that vaccine, but I would because they’re trying to help people,” said Matilde Perez, who battled the virus in the hospital for 50 days.
Rosario Rodriguez, who lives in the South Bay, also a COVID-19 survivor said she would not take the vaccine.
“I really worry about everything; the consequences, the side effects, because we don’t know (enough about the vaccine) yet,” said Rodriguez.
Charisse Alexander, who lives in downtown San Diego said she agrees with Rodriguez.
“I wouldn’t agree with taking it (COVID-19 vaccine). I thought about it and thought about it and I said no,” said Alexander.
Alexander identifies as Black and her opposition to the vaccine right now aligns with those in the study – 44% of Black people surveyed said it was not likely they would take the vaccine if approved and available.
Researchers involved with the study said there is a margin of error of 3.5 percent, give or take.