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Poll: 9% of Maryland adults still won’t get coronavirus vaccine

Even as public health officials push for more vaccinations to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, 9% of Marylanders questioned in a new Goucher College Poll say they’ll refuse to get vaccinated — a persistent obstacle as officials work to stem the tide of the pandemic.

Of 700 adults surveyed by the college, 78% said they’d already gotten at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine. The actual vaccination rate for adults in Maryland is slightly higher, according to federal data, with 83% receiving at least one dose and 78% fully vaccinated.

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The portion of Marylanders who refuse to get vaccinated remained nearly unchanged from the last Goucher College Poll in March, when 10% said they definitely would not get the vaccine.

With the refusal rate essentially unchanged, the poll results indicate that there’s a relatively small pool of unvaccinated adults left who might be persuaded to get vaccinated. In the poll, 5% said they planned to wait and see, 2% said they would get vaccinated only if required and 1% had plans to get vaccinated soon.

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(Of those who participated in the poll, 4% refused to disclose their vaccination status.)

However, Marylanders who were polled seem interested in getting booster shots to ensure they remain protected against hospitalization and death from the virus.

Of those surveyed who’d already been vaccinated, 83% said they’re likely to get a booster vaccine when they’re eligible.

“The good thing is that Marylanders who have been vaccinated want to get the boosters. It’s not going to be hard to convince people to get the boosters,” said Mileah Kromer, director of Goucher’s Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics.

As of now, anyone who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is eligible for a booster shot two months after their initial shot.

Those who received Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines are eligible for a booster after six months if they are at least 65 years old or have underlying health conditions or have increased exposure to the coronavirus through their work or living situations.

Patients are allowed to mix brands and get boosters either of the same or different brand than their initial doses. Nearly 292,000 booster doses have been administered in Maryland so far, according to state data.

Gov. Larry Hogan has urged those eligible for boosters to get the shots, and has assured Marylanders that doctors, pharmacies and clinics have an ample supply of vaccines.

Hogan, a Republican, continues to get high marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with 79% of poll respondents approving of his coronavirus actions. That’s down only slightly from a year ago, when his coronavirus approval was 82%.

Hogan’s job approval rating for the pandemic is higher than his overall approval rating, which is 68%.

The Goucher College Poll questioned 700 Maryland adults over landlines and cellphones about a variety of topics between Oct. 14 and Oct. 20. The poll has a margin of error or plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

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