Most Vaccinated Adults Plan to Get Boosters: Poll

FRIDAY, Dec. 3, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Most vaccinated American adults have every intention of getting booster shots, a new poll finds.

Only about one in five say they won’t get it, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) survey conducted with 1,820 U.S. adults between Nov. 8 and Nov. 22. About 23% of vaccinated adults have already received a booster shot in the United States, up sharply from October when it was 10%.

In addition to the nearly one-quarter who’ve received their boosters already, 37% of vaccinated adults said they will definitely get one and 19% said they probably will do so. About 10% will probably not get one and 8% will definitely not, the survey found.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance just after the survey was conducted encouraging all vaccinated adults to get boosters.

If everyone who expects to get a booster shot at this point follows through, 53% of all adults would receive a booster, according to the KFF report. But the potential threat of the Omicron variant may prompt more to get their boosters, the KFF noted in a news release.

Politics matter

Politics played a role in booster uptake, with 32% of Democrats saying they received a booster compared to 21% of independents and 18% of Republicans. About 31% of otherwise fully vaccinated Republicans say they definitely or probably won’t get a booster dose.

The KFF survey also asked participants about their feelings about the state of vaccinations, workplace vaccine mandates, mental health and economic impact.

About one-third of workers whose employers have at least 100 employees say they have a vaccine requirement. The Biden administration has required vaccines at those workplaces, but a federal appeals court has placed that policy on hold for now.

About 36% of those workers say they already have a vaccine requirement and 17% say they want their employer to require vaccines. Just under 41% have no requirement and don’t want one, according to the report.

About 11% of workers at smaller firms say they have a vaccine requirement and 20% reported wanting one.

Overall, about 52% of workers said they support the federal government mandating vaccines or weekly tests, while 45% oppose that.

The survey also found a less optimistic and more frustrated public than in January, even before the recent news about the Omicron variant.

About 58% said they felt frustrated about the state of vaccinations, compared to 50% in January. About 48% expressed optimism, compared to 66% in January.

The respondents were split on how they felt about how President Joe Biden is handling the pandemic, with 44% approving and 48% disapproving. That, too, fell along party lines with about 83% of Democrats approving and 88% of Republicans disapproving.

Pandemic stresses

While the vaccinated may want boosters, the unvaccinated do not appear to be increasing their share of getting their shots, according to the report.

Among women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, about 64% had received a vaccine compared to 73% of similarly aged women. The report noted that this may reflect worries about the vaccine’s effects on pregnancy, because only 39% of women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant are confident that the vaccines are safe for pregnant people.

The survey also found that 53% of adults said the pandemic had negatively affected their mental health, including 21% who said it has had a major negative impact.

About 43% said the pandemic had made it harder for them to pay for basic necessities including housing, utilities and food, including 56% of those with household annual incomes under $40,000, 56% of Black adults and 52% of Hispanic adults.

Nearly half of the respondents said that the government has not done enough to help small businesses and low-income people during the pandemic.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19 boosters.

SOURCE: Kaiser Family Foundation, news release, Dec. 2, 2021