CUNY SPH Survey Reveals High Vaccine Acceptance in New York

This report describes the top findings from the first of a series of quarterly surveys aimed at understanding COVID-19 vaccine sentiments, status, and the barriers faced by communities in prioritizing and accepting vaccination. The survey was conducted from August 30 – September 2, 2021, among 1,000 participants across nine New York counties: Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), Nassau, New York (Manhattan), Queens, Richmond (Staten Island), Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester.

COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of survey respondents had already received at least one dose of the vaccine; the remaining 32% are still unvaccinated. Among unvaccinated respondents, almost half (48%) were very likely or somewhat likely to get the vaccine in the future (34% and 14%, respectively).

Manhattan had the highest rate of vaccination with 79% of participants already vaccinated with at least one dose. This was followed by Nassau, Queens and Westchester counties (74%, 74%, and 73%, respectively).

Rockland, Suffolk, and Staten Island showed the lowest rates of vaccination and the lowest likelihood that unvaccinated respondents will receive the vaccine in the future. Among those who remain unvaccinated in those three counties, 36-58% reported that they are not very likely or not at all likely to get vaccinated.

Overall, Asian and White participants had the highest rates of vaccination, at 73% and 72% respectively. Sixty-five percent (65%) of Latino/a and 60% of Black participants reported having already received at least one dose. Among unvaccinated Black participants, 51% said they were very or somewhat likely to receive the vaccine, while 23% remained not very likely or not at all likely to get vaccinated in the future.

Six percent (6%) of participants did not have health insurance. Only one in four (25%) of those uninsured respondents had received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared to 71% of those with health insurance. Among the unvaccinated respondents, those with health insurance were slightly more likely to express intent to get vaccinated than uninsured respondents (49% vs 46%).

Nearly one in four (24%) participants reported that they had lost a loved one due to COVID-19. Among the unvaccinated, those who lost a loved one were more likely to report intent to vaccinate in the future. Fifty-nine percent (59%) said they were very or somewhat likely to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Only 44% of those who had not lost a loved one said the same.

Having a chronic health condition did not seem to affect vaccination status. Among the participants who reported having one or more chronic health conditions, 68% had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, similar to the rate of those without chronic conditions (67%).

However, among unvaccinated participants, those with chronic health conditions were more likely to express the intent to get vaccinated in the future compared to participants with no chronic conditions (53% vs 42%, respectively).

Thirty-two percent (32%) of participants had a child between the ages of 12-18 years old. When asked how likely they were to have their children vaccinated against COVID-19, 40% said that they were very likely or somewhat likely to do so. Nearly a quarter (24%) said their child had already received at least one dose of the vaccine.

At the county-level, 36% of parents with children 12-18 years old in the Bronx and 35% in Manhattan, said their child had already received at least one dose. In Queens, 34% percent of parents said the same.

Among those who have a child between 12-18 years old:

  • 24% have already vaccinated their child with at least one dose
  • 27% are very likely to vaccinate their child against COVID-19
  • 13% are somewhat likely
  • 7% are neutral / unsure
  • 6% are not very likely
  • 23% are not at all likely

Among those who have a child younger than 12 years old:

  • 45% are very likely to vaccinate their child against COVID-19
  • 11% are somewhat likely
  • 8% are neutral / unsure
  • 14% are not very likely
  • 21% are not at all likely

Thirty-two percent (32%) of Asian parents with a child 12 to 18 years old said their child had received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 25% of Latino/a parents and 21% of both Black and White parents said they have vaccinated their 12- to 18-year-old children. Black parents reported they were the least likely to vaccinate their 12- to 18-year-old children with 32% responding “not at all likely”.

Asian parents of a child under 12 years old were most likely to vaccinate their child once the COVID-19 vaccine is available to their age group with 65% reporting very or somewhat likely. Both Black and White parents of children under 12 were 59% very or somewhat likely to do the same, while Latino/a were 42% very or somewhat likely.

Top Reasons Participants Have Not Yet Received a COVID-19 Vaccine

Unvaccinated participants were asked to report the main reason they have not been vaccinated yet. The top responses could be categorized as feelings of fear — of vaccine safety, side effects, or of the vaccine in general– or mistrust — in the COVID-19 vaccine development process, clinical trials, or effectiveness. Many participants believed there was no need to get vaccinated; for most, this was because they had already been infected with COVID-19.

One quarter (25%) of respondents reported having difficulty getting the COVID-19 shot at any time. Thirty-five percent (35%) of them said the lack of child or dependent care was their top barrier to getting vaccinated, 19% did not know where to get the vaccine and 13% did not know how to sign up for an appointment.

Uninsured participants were almost two times more likely to face barriers to get the COVID-19 vaccine compared to insured individuals (46% vs 24%). Among those without health insurance, 30% said that they did not know where to get vaccinated and 27% reported that they did not know how to sign up for an appointment to get vaccinated.

Services Participants Need Better Access To

When respondents were asked what social services they required better access to, 65% said food or housing assistance were most needed (38% and 27%, respectively).
In terms of health services, mental health and wellness services, dental care and general medical care were the services that participants were in highest need of (30%, 27% and 26%, respectively).