Surging Delta Variant Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths Are Biggest Drivers Of Recent Uptick in U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

Large majorities of Americans, both vaccinated and not, say COVID-19 is likely to persist at lower levels and will be something the US will "learn to live" with like seasonal flu

More than 7 in 10 adults (72%) in the US now say they are at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19, with the increase in disease and deaths fueled by the Delta variant in the past few weeks as being Main drive is finding the latest KFF COVID-19 vaccine monitor.

That was a 67 percent increase in adults at the end of July. The survey shows that vaccination rates, according to their own statements, have increased the most among Hispanic adults, increasing by 12 percentage points to 73 percent in September and by 11 percentage points to 68 percent in adults aged 18 to 29 years. A similar proportion of adults now say they have been vaccinated across races and ethnic groups, a sign that the racial divide in vaccinations may narrow.

Adults vaccinated since June 1st cite the increase in COVID cases due to the Delta variant (39%), reports of local hospitals filling out (38%), and knowledge of a seriously ill or deceased person as the main reasons (36%). . 35 percent also say that an important reason was to participate in activities that require vaccinations, such as B. Traveling or attending events. Fewer people say their employer's mandate (19%) or the FDA's full approval of the Pfizer vaccine (15%) were important factors.

“Nothing motivates people to get vaccinated like when a family member, friend or neighbor dies or becomes seriously ill with COVID-19, or worried that your hospital may not save your life when you need it . ”Said KFF President and CEO Drew Altman. "When a theoretical threat becomes a clear and present threat, people are more likely to act to protect themselves and their loved ones."

Two percent of adults in September say they plan to get the vaccine "as soon as possible," while seven percent want to "wait and see," up from 10 percent in July. Four percent say they will only be vaccinated if necessary for work, school, or other activities, and 12 percent say they “definitely won't” get the vaccine.

The largest remaining gap is between political partisans: 90 percent of Democrats say they received at least one dose, compared with 58 percent of Republicans. 68 percent of the independents state that they are at least partially vaccinated. There are also large gaps in vaccine intake based on education, age and health insurance status.

Most say boosters show that scientists are finding ways to make the vaccine more effective

The September vaccine monitor was in action after the Biden administration announced plans to introduce COVID-19 booster doses for all Americans, but before federal health officials recommended booster vaccinations for people 65 and older and those at high risk of disease.

Overall, 62 percent of adults say that news that some people may need booster vaccinations "shows that scientists are continuing to look for ways to make vaccines more effective," while a third say it "shows that the vaccines don't work as well as promised". However, among unvaccinated adults, 71 percent say booster vaccination is a sign that vaccines are not working. Similarly, two-thirds of unvaccinated Americans see the recent news of breakthrough infections as an indication that the vaccines are not working.

Among fully vaccinated Americans, a large majority say they will definitely (55%) or likely (26%) get a booster shot if it's recommended for people like them, while small proportions say they probably don't (8%) or definitely won't get it (5%). Those who don't want a booster say they feel they don't need it (14%), think more research is needed (13%), and they don't trust the government or the CDC (8%) .

Partisan differences in intent to get a booster occur even among the fully vaccinated population. Democrats are almost twice as likely as Republicans to say that they “definitely” get a refresher if recommended (68% vs. 36%). Almost a quarter of fully vaccinated Republicans (23%) say they probably or definitely won't get a booster vaccination, even if recommended for people like them.

Most expect the US to learn to live with COVID-19

As the pandemic progresses, about 8 in 10 adults – including the vast majority of both vaccinated and unvaccinated adults – say they expect COVID-19 “to persist at a lower level and be something the US is learning from to live and deal with medical means ”. Treatments and vaccines, like seasonal flu. ”Few (14%) believe that COVID-19“ will be largely eliminated in the US like polio ”.

"We may have reached a turning point in attitudes towards the pandemic," said KFF Vice President Mollyann Brodie. "A majority of the public seems resigned to accept the possibility that COVID-19 may never be completely defeated and instead must be treated as a chronic problem."

About a third of the population (36%) say they would be happy but not delighted with the annual vaccinations and treatments for COVID-19, but some people still get sick and die every year. A similar proportion (35%) say they are dissatisfied but not angry. One in six (15%) said they would be angry about this result, with more than twice as many Democrats (23%) angry about it as Independents and Republicans (12% and 10%).

What is driving the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in many parts of the country depends on who you ask.

People who have been vaccinated say this is because too many people refuse the vaccine (77%), haven't taken enough precautions (73%) and the infectivity of the Delta variant (67%) is stated.

Unvaccinated people say this is because vaccines aren't as effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 as scientists originally thought (58%), followed by immigrants and tourists bringing COVID-19 into the country (40%) who People fail to take enough precautions (37%) and the contagiousness of Delta (35%).

Republicans and Democrats share a similar division. Large majority of Democrats indicate that people fail to take precautions such as wearing masks and social distancing (89%), and too many people refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine (87%), while about 3 in 10 Say the same thing to Republicans. On the flip side, 55 percent of Republicans say immigrants and tourists who bring COVID-19 to the US are a major reason for the high number of cases, while fewer Independents (34%) and Democrats (21%) say so than one View main reason.

65 percent of Democrats say they're angry at people who didn't get a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to just 16 percent of Republicans. About 6 in 10 Republicans say they are angry at the federal government about the state of the pandemic, compared with 2 in 10 Democrats. Among the independents, a slightly higher proportion say they are angry at the federal government (41%) than they are angry at people who have not been vaccinated (33%).

Workplace mandates can lead to more people getting vaccinated

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans (58%) support the federal government's new mandate for larger employers to require their workers to have vaccinations or weekly tests, and nearly eight in 10 (78%) support the requirement that these employers offer paid time off to their workers they get vaccinated and recover from side effects. The public is more divided on whether employers should generally require workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (48% say they should and 50% say they shouldn't).

Such requirements have the potential to further increase vaccine intake, according to the survey. When unvaccinated workers were asked what they would do if their employer asked them to vaccinate against COVID-19 to continue their work, a third (34%) said they had a high or some likelihood of receiving the vaccine one in six (15%) said they would be “not too likely” to be vaccinated and half (50%) said they would be “not at all likely” to be vaccinated.

However, if given the option to take weekly testing instead – an option larger employers might offer under the Biden Plan – over half of unvaccinated workers (56%) say they would choose the testing option. Only 12 percent say they would get the vaccine and three in ten would quit their jobs.

A large majority of unvaccinated workers (87%) do not want their own employer to be vaccinated, as does a significant proportion of vaccinated workers (35%).

Designed and analyzed by pollsters at KFF, the KFF Vaccine Monitor survey was conducted September 13-22 among a nationwide representative sample of 1,519 adults, including an over-sample of adults who are Black (306) or Hispanic (339). . The interviews were conducted in English and Spanish via landlines (171) and mobile phones (1,348). The sampling error margin for the entire sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Results based on subgroups may have a higher sampling error rate.

The KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor is an ongoing research project that tracks public attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations. Using a combination of surveys and qualitative research, this project tracks the dynamics of public opinion during the development and diffusion of vaccines, including the trust and acceptance of vaccines, the need for information, trustworthy messengers and messages, and the public's experience of vaccination.

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