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Survey helps northern Michigan health department communicate better with vaccine-hesitant people

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District Health Department #10

About two-thirds of unvaccinated respondents in northern Michigan say nothing would convince them to get a COVID-19 vaccine. But the remaining unvaccinated third say they’d be open to it if it was required by their workplace, if it was convenient for them, or if more research is completed.

District Health Department #10 surveyed 349 people in their 10 county area.

Currently, 47.9% of the population District Health Department #10 serves have completed their COVID-19 shots, near to the state-wide rate at 50.4%.

Department epidemiologist Jordan Powell says the survey provided valuable insights, including where to better reach people with vaccine clinics and better times to hold them.

“If we can reach that 34% of people that said we might change our minds, that’s really our focus and our priority right now,” she said.

Powell said the main concerns shared by skeptics were about the speed of vaccine development and possible side effects.

“They want more time, more information about the vaccine to come out is sort of the overwhelming thing,” she said.

Powell thinks more people will opt to get a vaccine after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives full approval to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

She said they’ve already begun to host pop-up community clinics at locations and times suggested by participants.