FILE - Virus Outbreak Wyoming

A vial of vaccine diluent, left, is sits on a table next to a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Cheyenne-Laramie County Health Department.

(The Center Square) – As the state continues to see new coronavirus cases by the thousands, a survey reveals why some Illinoisans still won’t get vaccinated.

QuoteWizard looked at the latest data on vaccine hesitancy and found that concerns over side effects was on the minds of Illinoisans.

“What we found specifically in Illinois is that 58% of people are worried about side effects,” said lead researcher Nick VinZant. “Fifty-three percent are waiting to see if the vaccine is safe, so there is a lot of vaccine worry in Illinois about side effects and wondering if its safe.”

The survey also found that 44% of Illinoisans have avoided getting vaccinated because they don’t trust the government, and 31% don’t believe that COVID-19 is a threat.

The coronavirus vaccine has been available free of charge but the survey found that people without insurance are nearly twice as likely to not get the vaccine. Nearly 20% of people without healthcare coverage are vaccine hesitant.

Researchers also found that the reasons for vaccine hesitancy vary across demographics. Women are more hesitant to get the vaccine that men. Older populations are more likely to get vaccinated, and white communities have higher rates of vaccine hesitancy than most communities of color.

Nationwide, concerns about side effects was the top answer for avoiding the shot. VinZant notes that in 28 states, 0.0% of people who got vaccinated reported any side effects.

“The best analogy that I could potentially make is like someone is in a flood, watching the waters rise all around them, but they won’t get in the boat because they are worried it has leaks,” VinZant said.

Staff Reporter

Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for the Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.