The majority of Coloradans who have yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19 have no plans to do so in the near future, new polling data suggests, with 76 percent of unvaccinated individuals saying they don’t have any intention of getting their shots.
The data, compiled by SurveyUSA for local outlets KUSA 9 News and The Denver Gazette, asked 500 Colorado residents their opinions surrounding vaccine and mask mandates, as well as their broader sentiments of public health regulations surrounding the pandemic.
While state data indicates 69.4 percent of eligible Coloradans are fully vaccinated, rates of new vaccinations are slowing, consistent with broader national trends.
This plateau in inoculations has a majority of residents concerned: 72 percent of polled Coloradans are concerned that unvaccinated individuals will ultimately end up affecting their health. This fear is largely fueled by the rampant circulation of the delta variant, which has been shown to be more contagious than the original strain.
Overall, 73 percent of respondents said they felt either “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the delta variant.
Smaller numbers of respondents also found that Colorado municipalities and state agencies should require employees to be vaccinated, with a slight majority, 55 percent, saying they broadly agree with vaccine mandates for government employees.
A vast majority, 70 percent, felt that health care workers should be required to get vaccinated, including EMS responders and paramedics. Sixty-one percent also said that people working in primary and secondary schools should also be required to get vaccinated.
One key question that evenly divided Coloradans was the issue of businesses refusing service to unvaccinated individuals; 45 percent said private businesses have a legal right to refuse service, while 44 percent said they do not.
Colorado is battling similar delta variant outbreaks statewide. The Colorado Board of Health voted in August to mandate vaccines for health care workers following a request from Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisBiden administration OKs Colorado expansion of transgender health coverage Judge dismisses police suit challenging Denver coronavirus vaccine mandate Bipartisan push for vocational training focuses on funding, curricula MORE (D), a move gaining traction across the country.
Polis additionally urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve vaccination shots for children under the age of 12 along with booster shots last week.
“The FDA needs to get out of their ivory tower and realize there is a real-life pandemic with 900 hospitalizations in Colorado, tens of thousands across the country. We have the ability to end it. We need to show the will to end it,” The Colorado Sun quoted him as saying.