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Poll: Little Difference In Vaccine Hesitancy Among Black, White Marylanders

University of Maryland Medical System

Nearly two-thirds of Maryland residents say they plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, according to the latest Goucher College Poll released Monday.


Public health experts and government leaders have expressed concerns that Black residents are more reluctant to get the vaccine than their white counterparts. However, the poll found little difference between the portions of Black and white Marylanders who said they plan to get the vaccine.


“Vaccine hesitancy among Black Marylanders has decreased dramatically since October,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College, which runs the poll. “What we have now is 62% of Black Marylanders have either received one dose already or will get that dose as soon as they can, compared to 68% of white Marylanders.”


A majority of Marylanders are also unhappy with how the state government is distributing the vaccines, with 66% saying the state is doing a “poor” or “fair” job, compared with 32% who say the state is doing a “good” or “excellent” job.


“What's interesting is that Republicans are more critical than their Democratic counterparts on this issue,” Kromer said. 


At the same time, she said, Republicans are more hesitant to get the vaccine than Democrats.


On the other hand, 76% of those polled said they approve of Gov. Larry Hogan’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The poll also found that more than half of residents say the state is allowing businesses to reopen at the right pace, and a plurality — 37% — say schools are reopening at the right pace. 


However, Kromer described a stark partisan divide on this question.


“Republicans, more so than their Democratic counterparts, are going to say that the schools are opening too slowly,” Kromer said. “And that's really reflective of what we see nationwide, that you see Republicans have been pushing harder for schools to reopen than their Democratic counterparts.”

Rachel Baye is a reporter for WYPR's newsroom.
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