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Research Shows Little Change In People Unwilling To Get Vaccinated Despite Rising COVID-19 Cases

BURBANK (CBSLA) — At The Magnolia Park streetwear store in Burbank, customers have been required to wear face masks inside since the start of the pandemic.

"People that don't want to wear a mask, we have to turn them away, just because that's our policy here," Bryan Arita, an employee, said. "And we can't provide services at all."

And while employees like Arita agree with L.A. County's new order to again require masks at indoor public places, they said it continues to impact the bottom line.

"It's definitely frustrating, you know, to get vaccinated and to still have to wear my mask for others that aren't and choosing not to," Grace Gannon, a Burbank resident, said.

With coronavirus cases rising across the nation, especially as the more transmissible Delta variant spreads, many are frustrated that some still choose not to get vaccinated.

"We know about two-thirds of unvaccinated adults have heard and believe those one of those fake vaccine myths going on," Ashley Kirzinger, with the Kaiser Family Foundation, said.

Kirzinger, who is the associate director of public opinion and survey research at KFF, said the organization launched a vaccine monitor late last year to track people's attitudes toward the vaccine. The group interviewed nearly 20,000 people across the country and found that many people who initially said they wanted to wait and see before getting vaccinated have since gotten their shots.

"It turns out interpersonal relationships, so having those conversations with friends and family members about their vaccine experience and the reasons why they chose to get vaccinated, those seem to be the biggest motivators, more than these other incentives like the financial incentives and things like that," Kirzinger said.

However, when it came to those who were most resistant to getting vaccinated, Kirzinger said their views did not change.

"Two in 10 US adults are in that definitely not, only if required group, and that has not changed over the course of the vaccine distribution," she said. "They see the vaccine as a political instrument, they think that the whole virus has been politicized, and they think that the virus is not a great threat to their own health."

She said the results of KFF's research show that there is still a lot more work to be done to get people vaccinated, though she said individuals talking with friends and family members and doctors talking with their patients have made the biggest difference.

Los Angeles County Monday reported 1,233 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and one death, though the number of cases and deaths was said to likely reflect reporting delays over the weekend. Since the pandemic began, there have been 1,269,090 reported cases and 24,585 reported deaths in L.A. County.

Health officials also reported there were 528 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, a sharp increase from the 372 hospitalizations from last Monday and the 218 hospitalizations reported June 15.

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