MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — On Monday, West Virginia University and West Virginia State University announced a partnership to study how West Virginians interact with vaccines. The partnership came after a grant was awarded to the state’s two land grant universities.
WVU will focus its research on Mercer and McDowell counties; WVSU will look at Clay and Kanawha.
Through this project, researchers will talk with community members about both their readiness or hesitation to receive a vaccine. While it does not solely focus on the COVID-19 vaccine, a portion of the beginning stages of the project will feature it. Overall, researchers hope to learn why people feel the way they do about vaccines, and hope to provide education that could ease some of that hesitation.
“We don’t want to assume why folks are maybe hesitant to get a vaccine,” said Stephanie Lusk, a member of WVU’s extension services. “We want to take time to listen, to all sorts of people in the community to see what their fears might be.”
The project could begin as early as the end of June. It will last the next two years.