Many Americans don't think they need the latest COVID booster, or they question the benefits of receiving it, according to a new poll.
Only 39% of U.S. adults 65 and older — a group at highest risk of COVID-19 — say they have received the new bivalent booster, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor poll.
Another 16% of the age group say they intend to get the booster.
However, people 65 and older who haven't gotten the booster either don't think they need it (36%) or say they don't think the benefit of the updated booster is worth it (36%).
President Joe Biden, at 80 the oldest person to serve in the office, received the booster shot in October and urged others to do so.
Overall, 4 in 10 adults say they've gotten the bivalent booster (22%) or will get it as soon as they can (16%), the KFF poll found.
A total of 12% say they want to "wait and see" before getting the new booster; 13% say they will only get it if they are required to do so; and 9% say they will definitely not get the new updated booster.
Another 27% either are ineligible because they’re unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
Among vaccinated people who have not received the booster, 44% say they don’t think they need it; 37% say they didn't think the benefits are worth it; and 36% say they have been too busy or haven’t had the time to get it.
Another 23% say they want to avoid bad side effects previously suffered; 17% say they’re waiting to see if there will be a surge in their area; and 12% say they’re waiting until before they travel to see family and friends.
The KFF poll also showed growing opposition to regular vaccinations for school children, as a requirement for attending public schools.
Nearly 4 in 10 adults nationwide now say that parents should be able to choose whether to vaccinate their kids for measles, mumps, and rubella, rather than it be required — that’s up more than 10% from a 2019 poll conducted before the pandemic by Pew Research.
Among parents, opposition to requiring those childhood vaccines now stands at 35%, up from 23% in 2019, KFF found.
The latest Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor poll was conducted Nov. 29 to Dec. 8 online and by telephone among a nationally representative sample of 1,259 U.S. adults in English (1,203) and in Spanish (56).
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