CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – West Virginia has one of the lowest COVID vaccination rates in the country, but why are West Virginians hesitant to get the shot?

Quote Wizard looked at survey results from the U.S. Census Bureau to determine why people in each state are hesitant to take the COVID vaccine. Nationally, 56% of unvaccinated people said they were concerned about side effects and 45% said they don’t trust the vaccine.

According to the surveys, 47% of West Virginians are concerned about side effects, and 46% of West Virginians said they don’t want to get vaccinated because they don’t trust the government. Other reasons that West Virginians are not getting vaccinated include not trusting the vaccine (40%), waiting until to see if it is safe (28%), not believing they need it (25%) and not believing COVID is a threat (14%).

Nationally, younger people, are more hesitant to get the vaccine. 14% of people under 40 reported vaccine hesitancy compared to only 5% of those over 65.

White Americans are most likely to have concerns about the vaccine, and men are more likely to be hesitant than women.

Those who do not have health coverage are almost twice as likely to be hesitant about getting the COVID vaccine.

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There is also a correlation between vaccine hesitancy and education level; only 5% of people with at least a bachelor’s degree show hesitancy compared to 13% of Americans with only a high school diploma or lower.

As of Oct. 21, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported that 50.6% of West Virginians have been fully vaccinated, which is significantly less than the 80% goal vaccination rate that Gov. Jim Justice set.

The FDA has fully approved the Pfizer COVID vaccine and approved the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for emergency use in the U.S., and all three have been approved for booster use.

To see more information about vaccine hesitancy by state, click here.