Los Angeles County residents are split on whether the COVID-19 vaccine should be mandatory for the general public, according to a survey released Wednesday evening.
Fifty-one percent of those surveyed opposed a mandate on COVID-19 vaccines, while 49% said they supported making vaccination a requirement for the general public, according to the survey of just over 2,000 Los Angeles County residents by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University.
The survey found that 80% said they would take the vaccine if offered, with 86% agreeing that people who have been fully vaccinated should still follow safety measures including wearing masks and social distancing and 74% saying that they trust the scientific community about the coronavirus.
Most Los Angeles County residents felt comfortable returning to workplaces after 25% or more of the population was vaccinated, and a majority indicated that they would only be comfortable involving schools and restaurants after 50% vaccination rates and an even larger 75% for airports, according to the survey.
“Overall, the survey shows a region remaining cautious yet committed to staying the course amid the pandemic,” said Brianne Gilbert, associate director of StudyLA. “We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re in agreement that we trust in the science to help pull us through.”
The study also found that:
— 43% of respondents experienced a decrease in pay or working hours;
— 25% had trouble paying their rent or mortgage;
— 40% struggled with mental health challenges;
— 86% of those who say they could perform their jobs from home said being able to choose at-home or on-site work is important, with 81% calling for being able to set one’s own work schedule.
“While we are all looking forward to seeing COVID in our rearview mirror, the changes that this pandemic brought about will continue over time, and the survey results prove that,” said Fernando Guerra, professor of political science and Chicana/o and Latina/o studies at LMU and the center’s director.
The survey — part of StudyLA’s eighth annual Los Angeles Public Opinion Survey — was conducted in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Korean between Jan. 4 and Feb. 15.
The margin of error is plus or minus 3%, according to the center. The full report can be found here.