A new poll released this week indicates that fewer Americans are hesitant to get a vaccine against the coronavirus than ever before. Many adults are saying that they are ready and willing to get vaccinated and more parents are also saying that they are planning to vaccinate their children than at any other time during the pandemic.
The latest Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index poll, published on Tuesday, demonstrated that a greater number of Americans are taking the threat of COVID-19 more seriously now in the wake of the surging Delta variant of the virus, as opposed to previous weeks when the poll was conducted.
Fifty percent of respondents said they had engaged in social distancing last week, up from just 34 percent who said they had done so in a late June poll. More Americans also view coronavirus as being a risk to their health and well-being, with 60 percent in this week’s poll saying so, as opposed to just 28 percent two months ago.
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Perhaps as a result of these heightened concerns, “fewer adults than ever now say they won’t take the shot,” Axios reported.
The poll asked respondents whether they have already been vaccinated, begun the process for getting fully vaccinated or planning to get vaccinated against COVID.
Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they already have been or are going to get vaccinated, while just 20 percent said they were not likely to ever do so.
That 20 percent rate of reluctance is the lowest rate that has been seen since Axios started polling people on the question.
The poll also asked parents what their views were on vaccinating their children (though at this time, vaccines in the U.S. are only available to those 12 years or older). Nearly 7 in 10 parents (69 percent) whose children are eligible for the shots said they have either completed the vaccination schedule for their kids, have started the process, or have plans to do so soon, the poll found. Thirty-one percent of parents said they are still hesitant about getting their children vaccinated against the coronavirus.
While still a significantly high number, that figure shows the lowest rate of hesitancy among parents since polling on the issue began. In previous Axios/Ipsos polls, the percentage of parents saying they were not likely to get their children vaccinated was much higher, with anywhere between 40 percent and 48 percent saying they were not planning to get their kids any of the COVID shots.
The rise in the number of Americans demonstrating a willingness to get vaccinated comes just a week after the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech. (The other vaccines are expected to gain full approval as well.) The acceptance among the people also comes amid growing evidence that the vaccines are helping to prevent the spread of the virus while also keeping those who do have “breakthrough” infections from needing hospitalization.
Recent studies have shown that unvaccinated individuals are 29 times more likely to need hospitalization versus fully vaccinated individuals, and new evidence also suggests that vaccinated people are less likely to spread the virus or have it for as long as those who are unvaccinated.
While the poll suggests that nearly 4 in 5 Americans will eventually be vaccinated, current vaccination rates in the United States are less than stellar. Despite the widespread availability of vaccines, only 52 percent of the general population is fully vaccinated at this time, with 62 percent having received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine so far.
The pandemic has resulted in close to 640,000 deaths in the U.S. since the spring of 2020 and COVID-19 continues to take the lives of 1,300 Americans on average per day.