Three months ago, a survey of New Jersey residents found about half would not get the COVID-19 vaccine because they were worried about potential side-effects.

But after almost a million vaccinations have been administered in the Garden State, attitudes about the vaccine have started shifted significantly.

According to a new report from the COVID States Project, New Jersey is now among the states with the lowest number of people unwilling to be vaccinated in the nation — 17%.

Nationally, 20 to 23% of adults do not plan to get vaccinated, almost a third want to get the shot as soon as possible, while about 40% plan to wait a while to see how the vaccine affects other people.

Katherine Ognyanova, an assistant professor of communication and information at Rutgers University, said one reason why New Jersey has more people who want to get vaccinated is because we have more people over the age of 65.

“This is the age group that really is at the higher risk for COVID-19 and for more serious consequences with getting the disease. They’re fully aware that this is the way to go," she said.

She also noted that the state has more registered Democrats than Republicans, and Democrats tend to be a bit more likely to want to get vaccinated.

She said another finding of the study is that the 25-to-44 age group is the most resistant to vaccination.

Men were more likely to want the vaccine sooner; women were more willing to wait.

Besides New Jersey, states where people are more willing to get vaccinated include Massachusetts, Hawaii, New York, California, Rhode Island and Connecticut, according to the report.

The report was a joint project involving Rutgers, Northeastern, Harvard and Northwestern universities.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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