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Poll: Nearly half of vaccine-hesitant Americans worried about side effects

U.S. resistance to getting a COVID-19 vaccine is slowly diminishing, a new online survey finds. However, it still exists and at especially high rates in some blue-collar jobs — and nearly half of respondents are worried about side effects.

For adults under age 65 who are hesitant, reluctance is mainly driven by concerns about safety, side effects, and distrust in government, the poll found. It’s also largely linked to people’s line of work.

The bottom line: “Vaccine hesitancy is emerging as a key barrier to ending the COVID-19 pandemic,” said lead author Wendy King, associate professor of epidemiology in the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Identifying occupations with a high rate of vaccine hesitancy and understanding its reasons might help public health workers address concerns, she said.

“Our study indicates that messaging about COVID-19 vaccine safety and addressing trust is paramount,” King said in a university news release.

King and researchers from the Delphi Group at nearby Carnegie Mellon University analyzed results from its ongoing COVID-19 survey in collaboration with the Facebook Data for Good group. About 1.2 million U.S. residents in Facebook’s active user database complete the survey each month.

In January, the survey added a question about willingness to receive the vaccine.

This study was limited to working-age adults because workplace outbreaks and the spread of infection from workers to customers are public health threats.

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