A recent poll has shown that most Americans who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine are unlikely to ever get the shots and believe that they do not work against the new Delta variant. The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research highlights the challenges facing public health officials.
The poll found that 35% of Americans who did not receive the vaccine have said they probably will never get one. Furthermore, 45% of respondents said that they definitely will not. These are troubling figures for public health officials amidst rising case numbers across multiple states.
In addition, 64% of unvaccinated Americans do not have confidence that the vaccines are actually effective against the coronavirus variant. The delta variant is now responsible for 83% of new cases within the U.S.
People who are vaccinated showed more hope that the vaccines will work. This means “that there will be more preventable cases, more preventable hospitalizations and more preventable deaths,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University. “We always knew some proportion of the population would be difficult to persuade no matter what the data showed, (and) a lot of people are beyond persuasion,” said Adalja. He believes that the current COVID-19 surges are “a pandemic of the unvaccinated” as almost all hospitalizations and deaths are among those who have not received any vaccination.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 56.4% of all Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Officials have also announced that vaccination rates are starting to increase in some states where they were initially lower.
Younger generations are also becoming less likely to get vaccinated. “It hasn’t really been that dangerous to people in my demographic, and I have a good immune system,” said Cody Johansen, a 26-year-old from Florida. “Most of my friends got vaccinated, and they’re a little mad at me for not getting it. There is peer pressure because they say it’s a civic responsibility.”
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