More than one quarter of New York voters surveyed do not plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine, a Siena College poll released Tuesday found.
The poll shows 27% of voters have no plan to get the vaccine while 69% do -- falling short of immunity goals of at least 75% to 85% public health officials are seeking for the vaccine.
The poll also shows stark differences among New Yorkers over whether to embrace the vaccine, with fault lines along race and politics -- potentially making it all the harder to vaccinate broad swaths of the population in order to end the pandemic.
The poll comes as the vaccine is being distributed across the country to end a pandemic that has killed about 400,000 Americans and has continued unabated in the new year.
The vaccine has been slow to roll out across the state amid scheduling problems and supply issues could force more people who want the vaccine to wait. About one million first and second doses have been administered so far in the state.
Disparities exist, meanwhile, amongst groups of New Yorkers when it comes to wanting the vaccine. The poll found 58% of Black voters want to be vaccinated; 61% of Latino voters plan to get it compared to 72% of White voters.
State officials in New York have urged people of color to get their COVID shots by pointing to the vaccine's safety while also acknowledging a history of medical experiments on Black people in the United States that has led to broader skepticism.
At the same time, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he wants to ensure people of color are not passed over to receive their COVID vaccinations.
Politically, New Yorkers are also split: 78% of Democrats plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine compared to 58% of Republicans and 61% of independent voters.
While the vaccine offers a light at the end of the tunnel after a difficult and dark year, most New York voters still epxect the worst is to come with the pandemic.
The poll found 55% of voters expect the worst is to come with the crisis, compared to 31% who do not.
"Unlike some issues that divide New Yorkers by partisanship, geography or race, this question doesn’t. A majority of between 50 and 61 percent of Democrats, Republicans, independents, upstaters, downstaters, Black, Latino and white voters all think the worst of the pandemic is still in front of us,” said Steven Greenberg, a Siena College pollster.
Cuomo's favorable rating is little changed since November, standing at 57% to 39%.
When asked to select from a menu of items facing the state a plurarlity of voters at 34% selected addressing the pandemic as their top concern with aiding businesses at 17%.
The poll of 804 registered voters was conducted from Jan. 10 to Jan. 13. It has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points. The crosstabs of the poll can be found here.