Shrinking number of unvaccinated people eager to get coronavirus jab: poll

A shrinking population of unvaccinated people say they’re eager to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, according to a poll released Friday. 

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) Vaccine Monitor determined that while 62 percent of respondents reported getting their COVID-19 shot, 4 percent say they will get vaccinated at soon as possible.

The overall vaccination rate does show improvement since April’s survey, when 56 percent reported getting their shot. But the percentage of people who wanted the vaccine as soon as possible dropped from 9 percent in April. 

The dwindling number of people eager for their vaccine suggests that officials at both the state and federal level may have to address more hesitant populations to achieve a widespread vaccination rate across the U.S. 

Twelve percent of respondents said they want to “wait and see” how the vaccine works before getting inoculated. 

Another 7 percent responded that they will only get the vaccine if their work, school or activities require it, and 13 percent total said they would definitely not get their shot. Both of these figures remained mostly unchanged from April.

The recent polling comes after President Biden set a goal of administering at least one shot of the vaccine to 70 percent of U.S. adults by the Fourth of July.

KFF notes this goal is possible to achieve if the “as soon as possible” and a portion of the “wait-and-see” populations get their shot. 

Specifically, a third of the “wait-and-see” group —  4 percent of all adults — report they expect to get their vaccination within the next three months. If this group, along with the “as soon as possible” group, get their vaccines, the U.S. could reach Biden’s target. 

“At this point, there’s almost no low-hanging fruit, but there’s a path toward a slow-but-steady increase in vaccination rates through improved access, information, persuasion and incentives,” KFF President and CEO Drew Altman said in a statement.

The seven-day average for vaccinations in the U.S. has fallen in recent weeks, which experts have attributed to the most enthusiastic people already getting their shots. 

The U.S. administered about 3 million vaccinations per day in mid-April before dropping to the current rate of about 1.7 million per day, according to Our World in Data.

Last month, the KFF Vaccine Monitor found vaccinations had reached a plateau.  

As the vaccinations have waned, officials have turned their attention to launching incentive programs, including lottery drawings, to inspire more people to get the jab. 

The Biden administration said it’s focusing on making vaccines more accessible by removing any barriers, such as offering a tax credit to small-business employers that give workers paid time off to get and recover from any of the shot’s effects.

In the poll, 21 percent of employed, unvaccinated adults said they’d be more likely to get their shot if their employer gave them paid time off to get vaccinated and recover. 

But 32 percent of unvaccinated adults, including 44 percent who plan to wait and see, said they’re more likely to get vaccinated if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues its full approval for the vaccines. 

Currently, the FDA has given emergency authorization for adults to get the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and for those 12 and older to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. 

Out of the parents with children 12 to 17 years old surveyed, 41 percent said their child has already received at least one dose or will get one very soon. A quarter of parents with younger kids said they would get their children vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. 

The KFF Vaccine Monitor surveyed 1,526 adults from May 18 to 25 and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Tags Coronavirus coronavirus vaccine polls COVID-19 vaccine Joe Biden kaiser family foundation KFF vaccine monitor Pandemic poll vaccinations Vaccine Vaccine hesitancy
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