Would you get a COVID-19 vaccine?

El Paso News

Pedestrians walk past Pfizer world headquarters in New York on Monday Nov. 9, 2020. Pfizer says an early peek at its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19, but it doesn’t mean a vaccine is imminent. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — As the City of El Paso and the rest of the state gear up to receive COVID-19 vaccines, have you considered whether you would be one of the first in line for one?

A recent survey from Harmony Healthcare IT found that 83 percent of Americans are concerned about side effects from a vaccine, and 46 percent of Americans said they would receive a vaccine as soon as it was made available.

In Texas, 38 percent of survey respondents said they would receive a vaccine as soon as it is available; in New Mexico, 67 percent of respondents said they would receive the vaccine as soon as it’s available.

Of those who said they will not get a vaccine, concern about side effects was the top reason (87 percent in Texas, 83 percent in New Mexico).

The main reasons people said they would not be getting a vaccine were: 1) side effects, 2) safety and effectiveness, 3) they believe they won’t need a vaccine, 4) they don’t believe in vaccines and 5) cost concerns.

In a social media poll, KTSM 9 News found that most respondents would take the vaccine. El Pasoan Francisco Lopez quipped he was “already in line.”

Others were skeptical about the vaccines.

El Pasoan Gabriel Almanzar would like to see if it is safe and effective. “I’m going to wait half a year to see if there are going to be any bad reactions to it,” he said.

El Pasoan Nina Nunez said she was not in a hurry to get the vaccine but is still open to getting one later.

“Personally, since I don’t have underlying conditions, I might wait,” Nunez said. “I say this now, but I could definitely change my mind later, depending if we are still out of control, case-wise, in the spring.

The vaccine will be received in three phases and supplies will be limited during the first phase. The City and State have already said that the first batch of vaccines would go to health care workers.

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health is asking residents to fill out the online survey to determine the community’s overall willingness to get the awaited COVID-19 vaccine.

The survey, which is in both English and Spanish, can be found at EPStrong.org under the Vaccination tab.

“We continue to see the spread of COVID-19 in our community and for this reason receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will be a crucial component in combatting the disease and ending the pandemic,” said Public Health Director Angela Mora. “The City has been working with the State to enroll local eligible healthcare, and other providers to dispense the vaccine to community members; but we would also like to hear from residents about their willingness or reluctance to get the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Results of the survey will not be available until the survey closes in the spring, said Laura Cruz-Acosta, a spokeswoman for the City of El Paso.

The Harmony Healthcare IT survey also found that 25 percent of responded believe that once vaccinated, it will take between one to two years before things return to normal, while 24 percent believe it will happen sooner (six months to a year).

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