by Tammy Weber and Emily Swanson | The Associated Press
Most Americans who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 say they are unlikely to get the shots and doubt they will work against the aggressive Delta variant despite evidence, according to a new survey that public health officials said. Outlining the challenges faced by infection in some states
According to a survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, among American adults who haven’t yet received the vaccine, 35% say they probably won’t, and 45% say they definitely won’t. do. Just 3% say they will definitely get shots, although another 16% say they probably will.
What’s more, 64% of unvaccinated Americans have no confidence that the shots are effective against variants — including the delta variant, which officials say is responsible for 83% of new cases in the US — despite evidence that they Provide strong protection. In contrast, of those who have already been vaccinated, 86% 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, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University.
“We always knew that some proportion of the population would be difficult to explain, no matter what the data shows,[and]many people are beyond persuasion,” Adalja said. He called the current surge, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Valensky, an “unvaccinated epidemic,” because nearly all hospital admissions and deaths have been in people who were not vaccinated.
The AP-NORC poll was conducted this week before several Republican and conservative cable news personalities urging people to get vaccinated after months of hesitation. The effort comes as COVID-19 cases in the US nearly tripled in 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 are beginning to rise in some states where rates are lagging and COVID-19 cases are rising, including Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri and Nevada.
Still, more than 40% of Louisiana’s population has received at least one dose, and the state reported 5,388 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday — the third-highest single-day spike since the pandemic began. figure of. Hospitalizations also increased sharply in the last month.
The AP-NORC survey found that a majority of Americans – 54% – are at least somewhat concerned that they or someone in their family will be infected, with 27% very worried. That’s up slightly from a month ago, but well below the start of the year, when 7 in 10 Americans said they were at least somewhat worried that they or someone they know would be infected.
Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to be at least somewhat concerned about someone close to them being infected, 70% to 38%.
And overall, Republicans are far more likely than Democrats that they haven’t been vaccinated and definitely or probably won’t be, 43% to 10%. Opinions are also divided by age and education: Thirty-seven percent of people under the age of 45 say they haven’t got shots and probably won’t get shots, compared to 16% of older people. And with those who do not have a college degree, they are 30% to 18% more likely to say they are not and will not be vaccinated.
Cody Johansson, who lives near Orlando, Florida, considers himself a conservative Republican, but said that did not affect his decision to drop vaccinations.
“It’s not really dangerous to my demographic, and I have a good immune system,” said Johansson, 26, who installs audio-visual equipment at military bases. “Most of my friends got vaccinated, and they’re a little mad at me for not getting it. There’s peer pressure because they say it’s a civic responsibility.”
He said it’s clear the shots have been effective, although it bothers him a bit that they only have emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
Johansson said she acknowledged how President Joe Biden has handled the response to the pandemic, adding that he has displayed good leadership.
This reflects the findings of the poll. A vast majority of Americans, 66%, continue to acknowledge how Biden is handling the pandemic – with Biden’s overall approval rating exceeding 59%.
The gap is fueled largely by Republicans, 32% of whom say they approve of Biden’s handling of COVID-19, compared to 15% who approve of him overall. Huh. Nearly 9 out of 10 Democrats approve of Biden’s handling of the pandemic as a whole.
Jesse McMasters, an aerospace engineer living near Rockford, Illinois, said she got her first shot when she was 37 weeks pregnant, talking to her midwife and reading about how Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines were developed. after.
“It gave me a lot of confidence that they worked,” McMasters said. Both her parents were infected but did not suffer from severe disease, and both have since been vaccinated.
She said her friends and family are everywhere when it comes to her views on vaccination and other virus-prevention measures – often reflecting how biased such discussions have become. The people who got it are “so far on the edge that they can never take off masks because it’s a personal statement now,” said McMasters, who slams Democratic, as do others about their political beliefs or Will not get shot due to wrong information.
Vaccine hesitation is nothing new, said Dr. Howard Koh, a professor at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, but misinformation about COVID-19 and the rapidly spreading variant is challenging people face-to-face to understand their understanding. Makes it mandatory to reach the front. concerns and provide accurate information.
He called the new jump in 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, a senior public health official in the Obama administration. “But when a loved one dies and you know it could have been prevented, that tragedy follows you forever.”
Weber 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 probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the US population. The margin of sample error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.