Three-quarters (76%) of Americans say they have already been vaccinated or plan to be in the near future. However, 24% say that they do not plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine at all, and of these, 78% say they are unlikely to change their minds.
That’s the result of a new Gallup poll which translates to about one in five vaccine-reluctant adults willing to reconsider their stance, with 2% saying that they are very likely to reverse their decision and 19% saying they are somewhat likely to change their mind and get vaccinated.
The Biden administration has stepped up its efforts to administer at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 70% of American adults by the July 4th weekend. According to the latest Gallup poll, 12% say they are planning to get the vaccine, which makes the Biden goal achievable since 63.5% of adults have received at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID Data Tracker.
The government has increased its efforts to reach all eligible candidates, offering perks such as free childcare, complimentary travel to vaccine sites, and other incentives to sweeten the pot. Several states are offering college tuition and lottery prizes to lure people into getting their vaccines.
Last week, Biden announced a “National Month of Action” to encourage Americans to get vaccinated by July 4, “so we can declare our independence from COVID-19 and free ourselves from the grip it has held over us, our lives, for the better part of a year.”
The month of action includes a partnership with brewer Anheuser-Busch that could mean free beer, seltzer, or non-alcoholic beverages to those 21 years and older if America reaches the 70% goal.
The Gallup poll found that 53% of Americans are worried that people will choose not to get vaccinated, and 25% said they were very worried. Gallup’s March and April polls found that vaccine-reluctant individuals said they were concerned about the safety of the drugs and believed they would not get seriously ill if they contracted COVID-19. Others said they mistrusted the timeline of vaccine development and vaccines in general. Some people said that they already had been infected by the virus, so they had immunity.
Recently, a survey conducted by USA Today found that many hospital workers remain unvaccinated despite the fact they were first in line to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. The survey found some hospitals reported that only half their staff, which includes doctors and nurses along with support workers, were fully vaccinated.
Public health officials expressed their concern that the low vaccination rate among hospital workers will slow the race towards herd immunity which experts hope will stop the spread of the virus by this summer.
Experts say that hospital workers share the same fears as the vaccine-reluctant members of the general public about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
However, according to Gallup News, having between 65% and 80% of the American public vaccinated, along with the unvaccinated people who have been infected with COVID-19, may be enough to ensure at least a partial return to pre-pandemic normalcy.
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