Statewide survey shows that 73% of Nevadans are likely to get COVID-19 vaccine, once available

Racial and ethnic populations show increases in likelihood to receive vaccine

A photo of the cover page of the February 2021 COVID-19 vaccination survey report.

Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med), in partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Community Health Sciences, Immunize Nevada and the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, released the latest findings from an ongoing study to learn what Nevadans think about COVID-19 vaccines, and their acceptance toward taking the vaccine - once one is available to them.

A February 2021 report of data collected from over 1,400 Nevada residents who took part in the survey from across the state shows a positive trend in the general public's willingness to receive the vaccine has increased by 9% from December 2020 to January 2021. Researchers found that 73% of the public stated they would likely get the vaccine once it becomes available to them - an increase from 64%, as reported in December.  

"It's encouraging to see the positive trends in citizens stating they are likely to get the vaccine," said Mark Riddle, M.D., Dr.P.H., associate dean of clinical research and professor at UNR Med's Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Research, and primary investigator on the study.  

"Hopefully with the continuing data emerging showing how effective the vaccines are and that they are extremely safe, this will change the minds of those still hesitant."  

This is the latest of ongoing reports that the research group will publish throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The report is accessible on the Immunize Nevada website, at   In the December report, Black, Hispanic and rural residents were found to be more hesitant about the vaccine; however, overall, the most recent January data showed most racial and ethnic populations saw increases in likelihood to receive vaccine.  

  • White populations surveyed increased from 68% in December to 73% likely in January.
  • Asian populations surveyed increased from 74% in December to 85% likely in January.
  • Black populations surveyed increased from 44% in December to 67% likely in January.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native populations surveyed increased from 59% likely in December to 67% likely in January.
  • Hispanic populations surveyed increased from 59% in December to 66% likely in January.
  • Non-Hispanic populations surveyed increased from 68% in December to 75% likely in January.

"The findings each month have been informative and enlightening for us to analyze, and it's promising to see what changes are occurring over time," said Abrianna Robles, UNR Med third-year medical student and investigator on the study. "We are feeling optimistic as we are seeing that more people are willing to get the vaccine as it is becoming increasingly available."

"This project has been very insightful to see how vaccine acceptance may be correlated to demographic and psychological factors," said Aine Gallahue, visiting researcher, UNR Med second-year medical student, and investigator on the study. "We look forward to sharing these results in hopes that we can target specific trends in vaccine hesitancy and increase uptake efforts as time progresses."

"While it's not exactly certain, public health experts suggest that herd protection (or community immunity) will require 80% to 90% of the population to be vaccinated," said Dr. Riddle.  

"We appreciate the public's and provider's willingness and time to take this survey," said Riddle. "We're continuing to ask people to participate, as it's important to learn how effective our conversations are. The survey data will help to serve as a basis for important conversations in our communities about the safety, efficacy and importance of getting vaccinated in order to help us return our community and lives back to normal."  

Nevada received its first allocation of COVID-19 vaccine doses on Dec. 14, 2020. To date, there are more than 296,822 total cases and more than 5,054 people have died from COVID-19 in Nevada. And more than 801,215 Nevadans have received the COVID-19 vaccination, to date.

Public and provider surveys  

Two surveys are ongoing throughout the duration of the pandemic to assess Nevadans' attitudes, understanding and utilization of the COVID-19 vaccine. An additional survey is being used to assess health care providers, medical students and trainees' attitudes towards receiving it, themselves, and making patient recommendations for the COVID-19 vaccine.   

The surveys can only be completed online, take less than 10 minutes to complete, and are completely anonymous. Participants may pick and choose what questions they answer.

Interested participants may also find links to the surveys at UNR Med's Medical Research website at: Survey responses will be accepted through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and people can take the survey multiple times as researchers want to measure how knowledge and attitudes may change.

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The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Released: Wednesday March 10, 2021 @ 8:30 AM