Well-Being Prevention & Cures

Older Americans ready for fall COVID-19 boosters, poll finds

“The vaccines we’ve had since late 2020 have saved countless lives and made COVID-19 much less serious for millions worldwide. We also know that those who got at least one booster dose have done better than others in the Omicron variant era.”
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  • Overall, 61 percent of adults over 50 are very likely to get an updated booster. 

  • The number is higher among particularly vulnerable groups, with 68 percent, respectively, of people over 65, Black adults over 50 and people with low incomes are very likely to do so. 

  • About 17 percent of adults over 50 said they are not likely to get a booster this fall.

Most older adults who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will likely get an updated booster shot when they are available this fall.  

Overall, 61 percent of adults over 50 are very likely to do so, according to a new national survey from the University of Michigan. 

The number is higher among particularly vulnerable groups as 68 percent, respectively, of people over 65, Black adults over 50 and people with low incomes are very likely to get a COVID-19 booster.  

About 17 percent of adults over 50 said they are not likely to get a booster this fall.  

“The vaccines we’ve had since late 2020 have saved countless lives and made COVID-19 much less serious for millions worldwide. We also know that those who got at least one booster dose have done better than others in the Omicron variant era,” the poll’s director and infectious disease physician Preeti Malani said in a media release. 

“But if we’re going to drive down deaths, hospitalizations, serious illness and long-term effects even further, we will need to get as many people vaccinated with these new formulations as possible,” Malani added.  

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The poll also found that doctors play a vital role in patients’ decision making with 77 percent of those surveyed saying their provider’s recommendation is important. This was especially important to individuals over the age of 65, those who are Black and people whose incomes are below $30,000 per year. 

Two-thirds of those surveyed who were previously vaccinated but had not test positive for the virus were likely to get a booster. Around 56 percent of vaccinated people who had had COVID-19 once said the same.  

The poll results are based on responses in late July from a nationally representative sample of 1,024 adults over 50 from the Foresight 50+ Omnibus panel, which draws from the Foresight 50+ Panel by AARP and NORC at the University of Chicago. 

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows more than 70 percent of fully vaccinated individuals over the age of 65 have received at least one booster.