A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Recent poll finds Kentuckians sharply divided on COVID vaccine requirements for schools, businesses

Kentuckians are split when it comes to whether COVID-19 vaccines should be required for employees or students to return to in-person work and school. That’s according to a poll by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Looking closer at whether it’s a good idea that students be required to have the COVID-19, there is a divide based on whether children live in the household. Two-thirds of those living with children thought a school requirement was a bad idea. Meanwhile, more than half of those without kids at home thought it was a good idea for a school requirement.

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“It’s expected for parents to have lots of questions and be concerned about their child’s health,” said Ben Chandler, president and CEO, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “We encourage you to talk with your child’s pediatrician, your doctor, pharmacist or local health department to get the facts about what the vaccine means for your teen. And, talk to your teenager about what they want to do.”

On the business side, political party identification, self-reported health status, and age show differing opinions on whether it’s a good or bad idea for businesses to require employees to get vaccinated before returning to in-person work.

“We still have a lot of ground to cover to help people become more comfortable with the COVID-19 vaccines,” said Allison Adams, vice president for policy, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “It’s up to us all, from health care providers to family and friends, we need to make sure that family members, coworkers, and neighbors are reading information from reliable sources so that they may make an informed decision for themselves and their family.”

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The Foundation has compiled a number of resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kentucky health leaders at www.healthy-ky.org.

The Foundation’s Vaccines in Kentucky poll showed more than 70 percent of Kentuckian adults intended to or had already taken the COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, half of those who did not intend to get a vaccine said they were open to changing their minds with more information and time. The poll also showed that 95 percent of Kentucky adults trust their physician or health care provider a great deal or fair amount when it comes to getting information about vaccines. Other highly trusted messengers include a person’s pharmacist and local health department leaders.

The Foundation is challenging local health care providers, pharmacists and health influencers to get the word out to their communities, clients, neighbors, friends and family by recording a video and posting it online, in local e-newsletters, and on social media.

The Vaccines in Kentucky – The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Poll was conducted February 11 – March 12, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. More than 800 adults from throughout Kentucky were polled by telephone. The poll includes a +/- 3.5 percent margin of error. It was funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

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Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

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