[Excerpt from front-page feature by Alexander Putterman, 9/7/2020]

One in five Connecticut residents do not plan to get vaccinated for COVID-19 if a vaccine becomes available, according to a new survey from the nonprofit DataHaven.

Sixty-three percent of survey respondents said they would get vaccinated, while 17% said they were not sure.

Resistance to COVID-19 vaccination differed along racial and socioeconomic lines, with Black and low-income respondents significantly less inclined to say they would get vaccinated than white people, Latino people and those with higher incomes. Only 38% of Black respondents said they would get vaccinated, compared to 67% of whites.

Tekisha Everette, executive director of Health Equity Solutions in Hartford, attributes this result to low trust in medical institutions among Black people, resulting from decades of discrimination.

“It’s rooted in the long history of mistrust and hesitancy in the medical system that African-Americans continue to have,” Everette said, citing the notorious Tuskegee Experiment as well as modern-day discrimination in medical treatment. “There’s just an overall hesitancy in being the guinea pigs in scientific discovery.”

In the DataHaven survey, Black residents, as well as those with low incomes, said they were less likely to trust local health officials and health care workers than other groups.

Despite some reluctance to be vaccinated, Black respondents in the survey reported higher levels of mask-wearing than other groups, with 95% saying they “very often” wear masks when leaving home. Overall, 89% of survey respondents said they wear masks “somewhat often” or “very often,” indicating a higher level of mask-wearing in Connecticut than has been reported nationwide.


Read the full feature article at https://www.courant.com/coronavirus/hc-news-coronavirus-survey-mask-wear...