Most Americans who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 say they are unlikely to get vaccinated and doubt they would work against the aggressive delta variant despite evidence that they do, according to one new poll that highlights the challenges facing public health officials amid skyrocketing infections in some states.
Among American adults who have not yet received a vaccine, 35% say they probably won’t, and 45% say they definitely won’t, according to Associated Press-NORC Center poll for Public Affairs Research. Only 3% say they will definitely get the hits, although 16% say they probably will.
What’s more, 64% of unvaccinated Americans have little or no confidence that injections are effective against the variants – including the delta variant which officials say is responsible for 83% of new cases in the United States – despite proof that they offer strong protection. In contrast, 86% of those who have already been vaccinated have at least some confidence that the vaccines will work.
This means “there will be more preventable cases, more preventable hospitalizations and more preventable deaths,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University.
“We always knew that a certain proportion of the population would be difficult to persuade, no matter what the data showed, (and) a lot of people are beyond persuading,” Adalja said. He echoed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky in calling the current outbreak “A pandemic of unvaccinated” because almost all hospital admissions and deaths were among those who were not immune.
The AP-NORC investigation was conducted this week in front of several Republicans and conservative wired news figures. urged people to get vaccinated after months of hesitation. This effort comes as COVID-19 cases nearly tripled in the United States over the past two weeks.
Nationally, 56.4% of all Americans, including children, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC. And White House officials said Thursday that vaccinations were starting to rise in some states where rates were lagging and COVID-19 cases were on the rise, including Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri and the United States. Nevada.
Still, just over 40% of Louisiana’s population has received at least one dose, and the state reported 5,388 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday – the third highest figure in a single day since it started. of the pandemic. Hospitalizations have also increased sharply in the past month.
The AP-NORC survey found that the majority of Americans – 54% – are at least somewhat worried that they or a family member is infected, with 27% who are very worried. That’s slightly up from a month ago, but well below the start of the year, when about 7 in 10 Americans said they were at least somewhat worried about themselves or someone. one they knew to be infected.
Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to say they are at least somewhat concerned that someone close to them is infected, 70% to 38%.
And overall, Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to say they haven’t been vaccinated and definitely or probably won’t, 43% to 10%. Views are also divided based on age and education level: 37% of people under 45 say they have not been vaccinated and are unlikely to get it, against only 16% of older people. And those without a college degree are more likely than those who do to say they are not and will not be vaccinated, 30% to 18%.
Cody Johansen, who lives near Orlando, Florida, considers himself a conservative Republican, but said it didn’t affect his decision to skip the vaccination.
“It hasn’t really been that dangerous for people in my demographic, and I have a good immune system,” said Johansen, a 26-year-old who sets up audiovisual equipment on military bases. “Most of my friends have been vaccinated and they are a little angry with me for not having done so. There is peer pressure because they say it’s a civic responsibility. “
He said it’s obvious the injections have been effective, although it bothers him a bit that they only have emergency use clearance from the Food and Drug Administration.
Johansen said he approved of the way President Joe Biden had handled the pandemic response, saying he had shown good leadership.
This reflects the findings of the survey. A large majority of Americans, 66%, continue to approve of Biden’s handling of the pandemic – above Biden’s overall approval rating of 59%.
The difference is largely fueled by Republicans, 32% of whom say they approve of Biden’s handling of COVID-19 compared to 15% who approve of it overall. About 9 in 10 Democrats endorse Biden as a whole and for his handling of the pandemic.
Jessie McMasters, an aerospace engineer who lives near Rockford, Ill., Said she received her first injection while 37 weeks pregnant after talking with her midwife and reading about vaccines Pfizer and Moderna were developed.
“It gave me great confidence that they worked,” McMasters said. Her parents were both infected but did not suffer from serious illness, and both have since been vaccinated.
She said her friends and family were everywhere when it came to their views on vaccination and other virus prevention measures – often reflecting how partisan these discussions have become. Some who have had it are “so far to one side that they may never give up the masks because now it’s a personal statement,” said McMasters, who leans Democratic, as do others will not get the blows because of their political beliefs or their misinformation.
Dr Howard Koh, a professor at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, said the reluctance to vaccinate was not new, but misinformation surrounding COVID-19 and the rapidly spreading variant make it imperative to reach people one-on-one to understand their concerns and provide accurate information.
He called the new wave of infections and deaths “just heartbreaking.”
“What I’ve learned from my patients is that when a loved one dies it’s a tragedy,” said Koh, who was a senior public health official in the Obama administration. “But when a loved one dies and you know it could have been avoided, this tragedy haunts you forever.”
Webber reported from Fenton, Michigan. Swanson reported from Washington.
The AP-NORC survey of 1,308 adults was conducted July 15-19 using a sample drawn from NORC’s AmeriSpeak probability-based panel, which is designed to be representative of the US population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.