The survey — published by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research — found that California adults who have not completed the primary vaccine series against COVID-19 did not do so for several reasons: 48% think a vaccine for COVID is unnecessary, 45% worried about side effects, and 44% think the vaccine was developed too quickly. Additionally, 22% said they don’t know enough about the vaccine to make the decision to get it, and 20% don’t believe in vaccines in general.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised people to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine does not necessarily prevent people from contracting or transmitting the coronavirus, but health officials say it can protect people from the most severe symptoms of COVID, potentially saving lives. The 2023 California Health Interview Survey Preliminary COVID-19 Estimates Dashboard uses data collected from 5,088 California adults, children and teenagers who completed the survey in March and April 2023.
Findings also include information about Californians’ experiences with personal and financial impacts of the pandemic, COVID-19 testing, access to masks, and experiences with long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms.
Among the findings:
— Among California adults who have completed the primary vaccine series for COVID-19, 22% have not received additional doses;
— 66% of California adults who lived in households with five or more people received a positive COVID-19 test, significantly higher than 37% of adults with one person in the household;
— 28% of California adults who tested positive for COVID-19 have experienced symptoms for two months or longer;
— Latinx adults were significantly more likely to experience symptoms for two months or longer (40%), compared to white adults (20%) and Asian adults (14%);
— 41% of adults with the lowest incomes experienced symptoms for two months or longer compared to 23% of adults with the highest incomes;
— 33% of California adults said they do not have an N95, KN95, or KF94 mask, and among California adults who did not have an N95, KN95, or KF94 mask, 16% said they would not wear a mask if public health recommended it as a COVID-19 protection;
— 61% of California adults who say they would not be able to get an N95, KN95, or KF94 mask said they are too expensive.
“The dashboard offers critical insights into attitudes surrounding COVID-19 in California,” said Ninez Ponce, UCLA CHPR director and the survey’s principal investigator.
“By collecting data on Californians’ views on vaccines, access to masks, long COVID symptoms, and other COVID experience across various sociodemographic factors, this dashboard allows us to dig deeper into some of the ongoing patterns and inequities among Californians,” Ponce added. “It provides valuable insights to guide evidence-based policy decisions as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The survey also found that 55% of California adults have received a positive test for COVID-19, and among those who received a positive test, 47% received the result from a self-test kit only; 25% from a clinic, lab, or other testing site only; and 28% from both a testing site and a self-test kit.
“Early on in the pandemic, COVID-19 testing was predominantly at testing sites, doctor’s offices, hospitals, and labs, which reported positive tests to local and statewide health departments. What this survey tells us is that nearly half of Californians received their positive result only from a self-test kit, which is not reported to health departments unless the individual reports it themselves. This may indicate COVID-19 positivity rates are higher than what has been reported,” according to survey director Todd Hughes.
The survey results can be found at https://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/health-profiles/Pages/2023-COVID-19-Preliminary- Estimates.aspx.