More than 70% of Virginians say they’re likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine, a 13-point jump from the number who said the same in September, according to a statewide poll from Virginia Commonwealth University.
But of the 827 adults interviewed, the most likely to say they’d receive it were also more likely to have a college degree and a family income of over $100,000 per year. Nearly 90% of residents in Northern Virginia, which includes affluent places like Great Falls and Arlington, said they’d receive the vaccine.
People in western Virginia were the least likely at 53%. Southwest Virginia is both one of the hardest hit by COVID and a region with the lowest median household income in the state: $37,663.
The state median according to the U.S. Census Bureau was $74,222.
“We see the importance of addressing the effects of COVID relative to improved health care needs in areas that have been previously neglected such as education, health and employment,” said former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, who VCU’s school of government and public affairs is named after.
The poll also found that politics continue to be a divider when it comes to mask mandates and sending kids back to in-person learning.
Federal-level mask mandates were most likely to be supported by Democrats (93%) and communities of color (77%). Statewide, 64% supported them but in western regions, it was split 50-50.
More than half of Virginians in the poll also responded that they think it’s safe to send children and teachers back to in-person learning. In September, it was 42%.
But there’s nearly a 30% difference between white residents and communities of color, who’ve been disproportionately impacted by the virus, on this. While 64% of white respondents said they felt it was safe, only 37% of nonwhite populations said the same.
Nearly 80% of Republicans thought it safe compared to 28% of Democrats.
The poll was conducted Dec. 11-30 as vaccinations were starting to roll out across Virginia.