COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Tennessee unlikely to change, study finds

'Given what we have learned so far, those that are unwilling will largely remain so,' researchers conclude

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Nursing supervisor Nadine Stone fills syringes with vaccine at the vaccination site at First Baptist Cleveland in Cleveland, Tenn. on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

A new study commissioned by the Tennessee Department of Health to come up with messaging that will get residents to take a COVID-19 vaccine if they are hesitant to do so came to the conclusion that attitudes are unlikely to change, at least anytime soon.

An initial 96 male and female Tennesseans from varying demographic groups took part in focus sessions where they responded directly to questions about themselves and beliefs toward vaccination. A second portion of the study was then conducted during the first week of April through an online survey of 1,000 adults representing each county in the state.

In their summary of the focus sessions, study authors concluded, "Those that are unwilling will largely remain so."

Whether to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary, but experts estimate that around 70% of the population needs to be vaccinated in order to return to "normalcy."