A new statewide poll suggests there may not be much that Governor Doug Ducey and his new $ 400 an hour health adviser can do to convince many more ‘Arizonas to get vaccinated against Covid that they have not already made this decision.
The survey conducted earlier this month by OH Predictive Insights reveals that a growing number of residents are more pessimistic about what is happening with the virus. And even among those who do not wish to be vaccinated, nearly a quarter are extremely or moderately concerned about the current state of the pandemic in Arizona, with another half saying they have at least a slight worry.
Yet about 60% of these people still say they are unwilling to get the vaccine. And by a virtually identical number, they say the new, more transmissible delta variant had no effect on their willingness to be inoculated.
In fact, pollster Mike Noble found that 18% said the delta variant made them less likely to roll up their sleeves. All of this, he said, is undermining efforts to achieve “herd immunity” in Arizona, the point at which a sufficient percentage is inoculated to make it difficult for the virus to spread rapidly.
And he pointed out that the percentage of those who want to stay unvaccinated has really not changed over the past six months.
This appears to be confirmed by the state’s own vaccination figures.
Vaccinations fell below 10,000 a day in July. And now, even with the news of the delta variant, it hasn’t hit 20,000 a day – and only comes close to it a few times – and is on the decline again.
This compares to nearly 80,000 vaccinations per day at the peak of late March and early April.
As of Tuesday, 57.4% of Arizonans had at least one dose. And less than 51% are completely inoculated.
It is for this reason that Ducey said last month that he hired Dr Richard Carmona, a former U.S. surgeon general, for the specific purpose of boosting vaccine acceptance.
Carmona, for his part, said he was considering a new public education campaign – and different from the past – to reach out to those he believes are receiving bad information about the vaccine.
The state has had a series of public service announcements urging people to get vaccinated, ranging from calls from former health director Cara Christ to community leaders and even, at one point, a hot dog. floating with a surgical mask as a parachute.
Carmona said there are likely as many as 15% of Arizonans who, for whatever reason, simply won’t get vaccinated. Still, he said collective immunity is possible if Arizona hits that 85% level.
The doctor promised a new approach.
Details, however, have been scarce. Carmona made some general comments on the emphasis on the economic benefits of having a population vaccinated.
But Governor CJ Karamargin’s press assistant pointed out that Carmona had been on board for less than a month.
âAre you expecting instant results? ” He asked.
Karamargin, whose boss signed a law banning schools from imposing mandatory masks and opposes mandatory vaccines, said Ducey still believed vaccines “are the best way to put Covid behind us.”
âDr. Carmona is well equipped to lead this effort,â Karamargin said. âAnd he himself said it would take hard work on everyone’s part to persuade those who might be hesitant to change their mind. “
State health officials, confirming the $ 400 an hour deal with Carmona, said there was no set number of hours or a specific limit on her income, claiming only that this was meant to be a part-time role for the doctor with work. it does it at the University of Arizona and other entities.
On schools, Noble said he found that 58% of those polled supported the idea that schools – not parents – should decide whether students should wear masks despite the governor’s signing of a law prohibiting districts from applying such rules. . This closely follows a different survey released earlier this month by the Arizona School Boards Association and the Arizona Public Health Association.
And Noble said by a margin of nearly 2-1, those interviewed in the survey oppose Ducey’s unilateral decision to withhold some federal Covid relief dollars from schools that have so far ignored the law. which has not yet entered into force and requires students to mask themselves.
The governor, who cannot run for a third term, has previously declared himself indifferent to such figures.
“I’m not going to pay attention to any poll because I’m trying to put in place good public policy,” he said.
The online membership survey of 1,000 Arizona residents was conducted between September 7 and 12 and has a margin of error of 3.1%.