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Poll: Kentucky May Have a Shot at COVID-19 Herd Immunity

Mary Meehan

A newly released poll suggests Kentucky has a good chance of reaching herd immunity with the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Herd immunity is achieved when a significant amount of the population is vaccinated or immune to infection. Experts believe herd immunity will be possible when that applies to 70-85% of the population. 

The poll found 71% of Kentucky adults have already received or intend to get the vaccine. The 29% of Kentuckians who said they hesitant to get the shot were more likely to be male, Republican, and live in suburban or rural communities.

Ben Chandler heads the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which funded the survey. He says much of the hesitancy toward the vaccine can be attributed to misinformation.

“Different groups of people get different media from different sources and there are anti-vax groups and political groups who want to talk about this," Chandler said Wednesday during a virtual news conference. "There are even elected leaders, frankly, who don’t push the vaccine like they should.”

The poll found those most likely to get immunized were women, Democrats, the college-educated, and those living in urban areas.

Conducted by the University of Cincinnati, the poll was taken between mid-February and mid-March, and questioned more than 800 Kentuckians at random.  The poll also found Kentuckians split on whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice or part of everyone’s responsibility to protect the health of the community at 48% and 49%, respectively.

State data show about 50% of Kentucky’s adult population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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