Unvaccinated Americans say the need for boosters proves Covid vaccines don’t work

A patient receives her booster dose of Pfizer BioNTech Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine during an Oakland County Health Department vaccination clinic at the Southfield Pavilion on August 24, 2021 in Southfield, Michigan.

Emily Elconin | Getty Images

The differences of opinion on Covid-19 vaccines between people who received the vaccinations or not have not changed with the introduction of booster vaccinations.

In fact, vaccinated people say the third dose, approved by US regulators last week, shows scientists are trying to make the vaccinations more effective, while 71% of unvaccinated Americans say that’s evidence that the Vaccines don’t work, according to a survey published today by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Almost 80% of those questioned who were vaccinated see a booster vaccination as a good sign.

“We’ve seen for sure that the vaccinated and the unvaccinated saw the pandemic very differently,” said Liz Hamel, director of public opinion and polling research at the foundation. “I’m not really surprised that you see the booster shot discussion differently.”

Those who still received a vaccination are among the “strongest objectors,” Hamel said, adding that the unvaccinated are more likely to believe the severity of the pandemic is exaggerated, worry less about getting sick, and safety and security The effectiveness of the vaccines have been checked differently than those that are vaccinated.

Kaiser surveyed 1,519 randomly selected adults September 13-22 after the Biden government announced plans to introduce booster doses for all Americans, but before federal health officials recommended booster doses for people 65 and older and those at high risk of illness.

Disagreements about vaccines in general remain largely biased, the survey data shows: 90% of those who are Democrats say they received at least one dose of vaccine, compared with 58% of Republicans.

This breakdown by political identity has remained constant at around 30 percentage points since vaccines became widely available in the spring, Hamel said, although other gaps by race and ethnicity have narrowed.

The surge in Covid cases, hospital admissions and deaths from the Delta variant was the main driver of a recent surge in vaccinations, the survey found, with the largest increases in vaccination rates between July and September among Hispanic adults and ages 18-29 Years of age Similar proportions of white, black, and Hispanic adults reported having been vaccinated at 71%, 70% and 73%, respectively, and reported having received at least one vaccination. Hamel noted that a separate Kaiser analysis of the state-reported data released last week found that black and Hispanic Americans were still less likely to have received a vaccine than white Americans, but that inequality between groups increased over time decreased.

The political divide over vaccines extends to public plans to get a booster, as 68% of Democrats said they would “definitely” get one if recommended, almost twice the proportion of Republican respondents .

The vast majority of fully vaccinated adults overall said they would “definitely” or “likely” receive a booster vaccination if recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA, along with other at-risk Americans, approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-Booster vaccination for people 65 and over on Wednesday last week. On Friday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky decided to distribute boosters to people in high-risk professional and institutional settings, overriding an advisory body that had voted against the proposal. She also endorsed three other recommendations from the group that paved the way for distributing boosters to people over 65, other vulnerable groups, and a wide variety of U.S. workers – from hospital workers to grocery store cashiers.

President Joe Biden received a booster vaccination Monday as his age at 78 put him in question for an extra dose under the CDC’s latest guidelines.

“Boosters are important, but the most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated,” Biden said before receiving his injection.

According to CDC data, about 75% of the eligible population age 12 and older in the United States have received at least one dose of vaccine, and nearly 65% ​​are fully vaccinated. About 2.7 million people have received a booster vaccination since health officials approved it for people with compromised immune systems in August.

The pace of daily vaccinations picked up over the summer as the Delta variant quickly spread across the country, with the seven-day average of daily doses reported hitting a recent high of 954,000 daily averages on Monday at about 632,000 shots per day.

Biden issued major new vaccine mandates on September 9, affecting private companies and federal employees. Government employees and contractors must immunize themselves against Covid with no alternative to testing, while any company with more than 100 employees must implement vaccine mandates that include medical and religious exemptions.

Vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans agree on one thing, the Kaiser survey shows: Covid will not go away anytime soon.

About eight in ten respondents, including a large majority of both vaccinated and unvaccinated adults, said they expect Covid “to persist at lower levels and the US will learn to live with medical treatments and vaccines like seasonal flu and.” dealing with them ”. . “Only 14% said they believe Covid will be largely eliminated in the US, like polio.

“A majority of the public appears resigned to accepting the possibility that COVID-19 may never be fully conquered and instead must be treated as a chronic problem,” said Mollyann Brodie, executive director of public opinion and polling research for the Kaiser Family Foundation Program in a press release.

CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. and Robert Towey contributed to the coverage.


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