AUSTIN, Texas — Texas is racing to get residents vaccinated. So far, more than 800,000 people have been fully vaccinated and about 2.5 million Texans have had at least one dose. That's slightly below the national average, but the state is setting up more mass vaccination sites to try to ramp up the process.
However, the efforts won't be successful if people refuse to get the shot. A new survey from the University of Houston's Hobby School of Public Affairs shows one third of Texans don't want to get vaccinated.
"It's striking that about one third of the population is saying they're probably not going to get it or definitely not going to get it and about a quarter of them are definitely not going to get it," said Kirk Watson, dean of the Hobby School of Public Affairs. "Sixty percent or better said it's because it's too new and they want to see how it works out, or they're worried about side effects.
Watson said those surveyed also pointed to not trusting the government to make sure it's safe or trusting big pharmaceutical companies.
Health experts estimate between 70% and 90% of the population need to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity. About 3% of Texans responding to the Hobby School survey said they already had received at least the first shot in the two-shot immunization process.
According to the survey, more than 40% of Texans said they are certain to be vaccinated against COVID-19 when the vaccine becomes available to them or have already received the vaccine.
Click the video link above to watch our full interview with Watson, including what the survey showed about the political divide over getting vaccinated.