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Poll: Progress made in decreasing vaccine hesitancy in Kentucky

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 5:38 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A new study aims to find out what Kentuckians think about vaccines in general, and it shows that the Commonwealth is making progress when it comes to reducing vaccine hesitancy.

“Here in Kentucky, we are at risk of unraveling 50 years of vaccine policy that has protected us from devastating infectious disease with life-long effects,” Ben Chandler, the CEO and President of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, said. “Even a small decline in the number of parents who decide to get their children vaccinated for diseases such as measles, mumps, polio or chickenpox puts us at risk of a potential outbreak.”

According to a new poll from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky called the Vaccines in Kentucky Poll, vaccine hesitancy has lowered over six months, with seven out of 10 Kentucky adults agreeing that all routine vaccinations recommended by the CDC are beneficial.

The poll says four out of five Kentuckians “agree strongly” or “somewhat agree” that being vaccinated is important for the health of others in the community; 90% of Kentuckians believe getting vaccinated is a good way to protect themselves from disease.

But Chandler said even a small decline in the number of parents who decide to get their children vaccinated for diseases like measles, mumps, polio, or chickenpox puts everyone at risk for an outbreak.

“We cannot take vaccine policies for granted,” Chandler said. “History has shown us lapses in protection can cause future pandemics impacting people’s health our economy and the future of our civilization we’ve got to increase public confidence in vaccines across the board.”

Three in five Kentuckians think all children should be required to be vaccinated, with the study also saying two-thirds of Kentuckians are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to get a flu shot by the end of this year.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky commissioned the Vaccines in Kentucky Poll. It was conducted from Aug. 4 to Sept. 4, 2021 by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. More than 500 adults from throughout Kentucky were polled by telephone. The poll includes a 4.3% margin of error.

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