In a Moonshine poll about Covid vaccines, 89% of respondents said they will get or have gotten the vaccine, yet over 30% said there is vaccine hesitancy among their circles.
So far, 324 people responded to the Ink’s informal vaccine experience poll, ongoing on the newspaper’s website since Feb. 26. Thirty percent of respondents said there are reservations about the vaccine among their circles. And 38 people said they do not plan to become vaccinated for Covid-19 when they’re eligible.
The anonymous poll provides space for participants to explain why they are or are not planning to receive one of the available vaccines.
Many participants who do plan to be vaccinated highlighted an element of community responsibility, such as “it’s the right thing to do;” “it is the fastest way to get herd immunity;” and “I want to be able to protect myself and others.”
Some pointed to the vaccine as a way out of lockdowns, with one individual looking forward to getting “back to normal as quickly as possible” and another seeking to be able to “travel and feel safe, so I can get my new [business] up and running.” Some comments were sarcastic or clever — several wrote, simply, “science,” while one said, “because I’m not an idiot,” and another, “basic pragmatism.” Overall, many clarified they’d already been fully or partially vaccinated.
The majority who plan to or have taken a Covid-19 vaccine had personal reasons for acting early, like being “in our mid-70s with underlying health issues” or “an immunocompromised person and the vaccine could save my life.” Another user had already had a close friend die of complications from Covid-19, and one wanted to be vaccinated “to protect my vulnerable daughter.”
Of the 11% of respondents who don’t plan on taking a vaccine, some elaborated on their hesitancy, such as the user who wrote, “I don’t feel I know enough about how mRNA can [affect] us down the road. I don’t feel we have enough information on side effects.” Others said, not “yet — not until it’s been out for longer.”
Someone stated they won’t get it because they “have a healthy immune system. My body, my choice. Long term effects of the ‘vaccine’ are unknown.”
The poll also seeks to gauge how participants feel their Tahoe/Truckee friends and family view the vaccines, with a multiple-choice question. Sixty-four percent of respondents (203) said most people they know are “all for the vaccine,” 27% said “some people I know have concerns about one or more of the vaccines.” Three percent each chose the option that “most people [they] know are questioning the vaccines” and “people [they] know don’t want to get vaccinated.”
Seven people provided alternate descriptions of their communities’ views of vaccination, ranging all the way from “virtually all of my family and friends are in favor of the vaccine” to describing widespread hesitancy, such as the user that said “there’s a lot of anti-vaxxers” in their local circles.
One participant wrote they “have a blend of half and half; half very pro[-vaccine], and half very against,” and another said that a “few Trump humper types don’t want the vaccine. They are not known as intelligent.” One respondent described “a very small minority of vocal privileged White people who spread inaccurate info about vaccine safety,” and another pointed out their opinion that “people have concern[s] but do not feel they have a real choice not to get [the] vaccine.”
Another said misconceptions about the vaccines come from “false social media.”
The poll asked participants who’ve already had one or two Covid-19 vaccination shots to elaborate on their experiences. Thirty-seven respondents received one or both shots at Sierra College through Tahoe Forest Health System in Truckee (with numerous glowing reviews of the process there); five at the Safeway in Kings Beach and several more at the one in Truckee; others at vaccination sites in Placer and El Dorado counties, Reno, Grass Valley, Roseville, Sacramento, and the Bay Area.
In this section, some participants who hadn’t been vaccinated yet shared why (one said they’re healthy and “last in line, as I should be,” for example) or explained their continued efforts to make an appointment.
A fully-vaccinated individual who described their side-effect experience “had mild/moderate symptoms which all resolved within 36 hours. Well worth the mild discomfort and grateful to be immunized.” Another experienced “moderately severe” effects lasting two days, but still “plan[s] on receiving my second dose as scheduled.” Another had no side effects: “Easy peasy. No side issues,” they wrote. Overall, most who specified received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, with a few reporting having taken the one-shot Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) option.
One respondent had an interesting story about why they ended up getting their first shot at Rite Aid, and their second at Kaiser, both in Sacramento because “shots weren’t available for over 65s in Truckee,” they explained, and that Kaiser reached out to them directly.
Many reported arm pain and other mild side effects such as headaches and fatigue, and one vaccinated respondent wrote simply: “I feel relief.”