HPU Poll: N.C. Voters Uncertain About Taking COVID-19 Vaccine This Year

HIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 4, 2020 – A High Point University Poll finds registered voters in North Carolina are uncertain about taking a COVID-19 vaccine if one were developed this year. 

Respondents were split between those who say they did intend to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if one were developed this year (37%), those who do not intend to receive such a vaccine (36%) and more than one-quarter (27%) who do not know or do not offer an answer.

Meanwhile, 50% of registered voters say they had already had a seasonal influenza vaccine this year, while 49% said they had not.

North Carolina’s registered voters are relatively well-informed about the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. More than nine out of 10 of these respondents (92%) say they are aware that a vaccine is being developed. Only 4% say they are unaware of the vaccine development.

More than three out of every five (62%) respondents acknowledge they are concerned about becoming sick with COVID-19, while only 30% say they are not concerned.

“For the 49% of respondents who have not yet received a flu shot for the 2020-2021 season, it is not too late,” says Dr. Jordan Smith, assistant professor and co-curricular coordinator in HPU’s Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy. “Flu season typically peaks between December and February, so getting a flu shot now will help protect against the virus. This year, given the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community against influenza so that our healthcare services and facilities are able to handle the burden of an increasing COVID-19 case load.”

“Registered voters appear to be a bit wary of a new COVID-19 vaccine if developed this year,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Survey Research Center and adjunct instructor. “This is an issue worth exploring in the coming months if vaccines become available and COVID-19 continues to play a large role in our lives here in North Carolina.”

NC registered voters – COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness (October 2020)

Are you aware that a COVID-19 vaccine is in development?

Yes – 92%

No – 4%

(Don’t know/Refused) – 4%

(Registered voter sample from NC voter file and confirmed registered voter online panel, surveyed Oct. 9 – 28, 2020, n = 800 and credibility interval is +/- 4%) 

NC registered voters – Concern about COVID-19 (October 2020)

Are you concerned about becoming sick with the COVID-19 virus, or are you not concerned about that?

Concerned – 62%

Not Concerned – 30%

(Don’t know/Refused) – 8%

(Registered voter sample from NC voter file and confirmed registered voter online panel, surveyed Oct. 9 – 28, 2020, n = 800 and credibility interval is +/- 4%)

NC registered voters – Flu Shot (October 2020)

Did you receive the seasonal influenza vaccine this year?

Yes – 50%

No – 49%

(Don’t know/Refused) – 1%

(Registered voter sample from NC voter file and confirmed registered voter online panel, surveyed Oct. 9 – 28, 2020, n = 800 and credibility interval is +/- 4%)

NC registered voters – Intent to Take COVID-19 Vaccine (October 2020)

Do you intend to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if developed this year?

Yes – 37%

No – 36%

(Don’t know/Refused) – 27%

(Registered voter sample from NC voter file and confirmed registered voter online panel, surveyed Oct. 9 – 28, 2020, n = 800 and credibility interval is +/- 4%)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Oct. 9 – 28 and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 800 registered voters interviewed online (601 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (199 respondents). The Survey Research Center drew the live interviewer sample from the voter file made public by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (https://www.ncsbe.gov/Public-Records-Data-Info/Election-Results-Data). The Survey Research Center contracted with Dynata, formerly Research Now SSI: https://www.dynata.com/ to acquire the confirmed registered voter online sample, and fielded the online survey using its Qualtrics platform. This is a combined poll of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, so their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classical margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 4 percentage points to account for a traditional 95 percent confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.5 percentage points) and a design effect (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population (NC registered voters) estimates for age, gender, and race/ethnicity based on the parameters of the full voter file at the North Carolina State Board of Elections as well as education level based on US Census estimates for registered voters. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2020/11/76memoC.pdf

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. For more information, see http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, chair and associate professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Brian McDonald is the associate director of the HPU Poll.

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