Oklahomans are evenly divided on whether Gov. Kevin Stitt should issue a statewide mask mandate. Two in five Oklahomans told pollsters that they will not take an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine.
The Oklahoma City political firm Amber Integrated polled 500 Oklahomans last week by calling land lines and cell phones. They also conducted an online panel of likely voters.
“There are certainly some concerning trends,” Amber Integrated partner Jackson Lisle said.
When asked, “If you were able to get a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration,” 61 percent of Oklahomans said they would get the vaccine while 38 percent said they would not.
Breaking down responses by political party, 43 percent of Republicans said they wouldn’t take the vaccine compared to 23 percent of Democrat hold outs.
“Public health has always been political, but it should never be partisan,” OU Health’s Dr. Dale Bratzler said. “We need to promote the science here because a lot of people are losing their lives. Forty-five more Oklahomans lost their lives in the data that was reported just today.”
Respondents in their forties said they were least likely to get the vaccine while seniors were most likely.
“There’s a correlation there with how dangerous COVID is for individuals, the older somebody is, the more likely they are to have serious illnesses or death from contracting COVID,” Lisle said.
“We have to rely on the science, the experts in vaccinology, that this is very safe,” Bratzler said. “It appears to be very effective; more effective than most vaccines that we give people.”
Nearly perfectly divided along party lines, 52 percent of Oklahomans believe masks should be required across the state. Nearly 80 percent of people said they always or most of the time wear a mask in public.
“Polling we’ve done previous, 75 percent of people think masks are effective in protecting yourself against the virus,” Lisle said. “People are wearing masks. Republicans just don’t want to be told to wear a mask.”
The survey has a margin of error of 4.38 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval.