Majority of Detroiters say they're unlikely to get COVID-19 vaccine: survey

By Xu Jing

CHICAGO, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Sixty-one percent of Detroiters said they were unlikely or very unlikely to get a government-approved COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, according to the latest survey from the University of Michigan's (UM) Detroit Metro Area Communities Study (DMACS) posted on UM's website on Friday.

The study, open from Oct. 14 to 28 and the fifth rapid-response survey DMACS has filed during the pandemic to document the impact of the health and economic crisis, showed that Black residents were four times as likely as white residents to say they would not get the COVID-19 vaccine, and Hispanic residents were twice as likely as white residents to avoid the vaccine.

Additionally, women were nearly twice as likely as men to say they would not get the vaccine, though higher levels of income and education increase the likelihood a resident would seek to get the vaccine when it is available.

The survey showed roughly 69 percent of Detroiters viewed the pandemic as very serious for themselves personally and their community. Since the end of April, 93 percent to 98 percent of Detroit residents had said they wore masks some or all of the time while doing activities outside their homes.

Another notable finding from the latest survey was the drop in Detroit's unemployment rate to 15 percent, down from a peak of 48 percent in June. The unemployment rate included people who were in the labor force and currently not working. Black residents were five times more likely to be unemployed than white residents, as 23 percent of Black residents in the labor force were unemployed compared to just 4 percent of white residents.

Seventy-nine percent of Detroit residents said they would likely participate in contact tracing if they tested positive for COVID-19, though only 35 percent said they would be willing to download an app on their cell phone that would provide information to public health officials about close contact they had with other people.

Fifty-three percent of Detroit residents said a friend or family member had been ill with COVID-19, and 36 percent said a friend or family member had died from COVID-19. While there were not significant racial differences in terms of who is contracting COVID-19, Black residents remained four times as likely as white residents to know someone who died from COVID-19.

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