A man wears a “NOT VACCINATED” t-shirt before President Donald Trump’s “Save America” rally at York Family Farms on August 21, 2021 in Cullman, Alabama.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
Americans unvaccinated against Covid-19 are largely motivated by mistrust of the government and fears about vaccine side effects, and there is very little that can be done to persuade them to get vaccinated, New CNBC / Change Research poll reveals.
Change Research polled 1,775 respondents for CNBC from August 30 to September 2 on Americans’ views on Covid vaccines, President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump and other issues.
Of the 29% of U.S. voters who are not vaccinated, 83% say they do not plan to be vaccinated, according to the survey. A frustrated Biden on Thursday described a slew of new vaccine and testing mandates for federal workers and contractors as well as healthcare and private business workers.
“What more to look forward to? What more needs to be seen? We have made vaccinations free, safe and convenient. The vaccine has FDA approval, over 200 million “Americans have received at least one injection,” Biden said. “We have been patient, but our patience is running out and the refusal has cost us all. So please do the right thing.”
Among unvaccinated respondents, 84% said their decision not to get vaccinated would not change if the vaccines had no side effects and 87% said they still would not get vaccinated if their employer mandated them. Only 5% and 4% of those polled, respectively, said these things would make them “much more likely” to change their mind, according to the survey. Pressure from family members made little difference, with just 2% saying it would make them much more likely to get the shot.
Growing hesitation over vaccines could make it difficult to achieve the up to 90% vaccination rate that some health officials have suggested is necessary to achieve nationwide herd immunity against Covid.
“It’s time for people to understand that there is no herd immunity in sight that will allow this virus to go away and not come back,” Dr. Bruce Farber, head of infectious diseases at Northwell Health, told CNBC At New York. September 1 interview. “And we are going to live with this virus exactly as we live with the flu for the foreseeable future. “
Some 34% of unvaccinated respondents said they were hesitant to get the vaccine because they did not trust the federal government, while 34% worried about the side effects of the vaccine. Less than 10% of unvaccinated respondents said they would be more likely to be vaccinated if the delta variant was more problematic in their community, and 7% said they would be vaccinated if Trump asked them to.
“There also appears to be something specific to COVID-19 at work, as 56% of the unvaccinated report having received a flu shot in the past,” the survey said.
The gap between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated was particularly evident politically, with 60% of Republicans and 87% of Trump voters in last year’s presidential election responding that they were not vaccinated. in the poll. Comparatively, 49% of Democrats and 68% of Biden voters in 2020 said they were fully vaccinated.
The survey found that 53% of unvaccinated respondents said they were less likely to get vaccinated after senior U.S. health officials approved Covid booster injections on August 18 for mRNA vaccines , because this protection decreases over time. But 73% of vaccinated voters said they would eventually receive their third dose.
Despite their resistance to immunization against Covid, unvaccinated respondents seemed more willing to adopt therapeutic treatments if they were recommended by a doctor following a positive diagnosis of Covid. The poll found that 44% of unvaccinated voters responded “maybe” when asked if they would accept either an intravenous antiviral or monoclonal antibodies, compared with 33% of unvaccinated respondents who said they would accept. would reject the antibodies and 34% who would refuse the antiviral.
With students returning to in-person learning and employers returning their staff to the office, the poll also captured voters’ thoughts on school mask requirements and workplace vaccination mandates. Among parents of children under 18, 51% support mask mandates for teachers, while 47% believe schools should require students to wear face coverings.
The poll reported increased support for employers’ immunization mandates, with 55% of voters agreeing with the immunization requirements for private business staff. And 67% of those polled said companies should be allowed to enforce mask requirements for customers.
“One of the things most likely to get someone to get the vaccine was if their employer demanded it,” the survey found.
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