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These states have the highest levels of COVID-19 vaccine refusal

September 2, 2021, 7:24 PM UTC

Even as the Delta variant causes hospital intensive care units to fill to capacity, there’s strong resistance in some states to getting a COVID-19 vaccine. And a new poll from Morning Consult has ranked the ones where skepticism is the highest.

Nationally, there’s still notable resistance among 30% of the population, according to the study. And while skepticism has shifted downward since March across all demographics, it’s still prevalent among the American population.

Morning Consult spoke with an average of 3,334 adults per state between July 24 and Aug. 23. Resistance levels in states that are in the midst of major breakouts haven’t changed much. The rate of people unwilling to get vaccinated in Florida and Georgia, for example, did not change between June and August (19% and 24%, respectively).

Florida, though, is not even one of the top 10 states with the highest rates of people unwilling to get the vaccine. South Dakota, where 33% of the respondents refuse to get jabbed, had the greatest proportion.

Here’s how the ranking of vaccine unwillingness shook out:

  1. South Dakota – 33%
  2. Idaho – 32%
  3. Alaska – 29%
  4. Oklahoma – 29%
  5. Mississippi – 26%
  6. West Virginia – 26%
  7. Alabama – 26%
  8. Montana – 25%
  9. Missouri – 25%
  10. Tennessee – 25%

Chief reasons for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy are concerns about side effects and fears that the clinical trials moved too fast.

Vaccine opposition is highest among Republicans and young adults, Morning Consult said. Some 26% of Republicans surveyed said they were unwilling to be vaccinated, while 24% of people between 18 and 34 said they would not. (Among GOP women, the unwilling rate jumped to 30%.)

Vaccine opposition is lowest in the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, according to the poll.

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