MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s top health official said Friday that a study showed about 30% of adults in the state are hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccine, a reluctance that concerns medical officials as they try to keep state case numbers on the decline.
The Alabama Department of Public Health released the results of the survey done to gauge vaccine hesitancy as well as figure out how to craft messaging to reach reluctant groups.
“There is around 30% of people who indicate they are not interested in being vaccinated,” State Health Officer Scott Harris told reporters.
He said the hesitancy cuts across racial lines. He said the reasons vary from people who are staunchly against vaccinations to people who just have questions.
Alabama on March 22 expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations to include more frontline workers; people 55 and older; those with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and residents age 16 to 64 with certain high-risk medical conditions.
Alabama does not have an estimate of when it will open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults, Harris said, but added the state will meet the May 1 deadline set by President Joe Biden.
“We are going to be able to expand well before May 1, I believe,” Harris said
“This script is going to flip completely, you know from a month ago when people couldn’t find vaccine — it seems like no matter how hard they look — to in April, we’re going to have the opposite problem,” Harris said.