A New Poll Asks: Why Don’t Some Vaccinated People Get Boosters?

Seven in 10 adults in America who are likely to qualify for a Covid booster have received one, according to a monthly survey that examines public opinion on coronavirus vaccines.

“Uptake is very high compared to the initial introduction of the vaccine,” said Liz Hamel, who leads the polls for the Kaiser Family Foundation, which conducts the monthly review. She said most people who committed to getting vaccinated were willing to get a booster.

People age 65 and older were most likely to report getting a boost, the report found.

But of all adults surveyed, including the unvaccinated, only 42 percent said they’d gotten a boost.

“That means that a very significant part of the population is not fully protected,” said Ms Hamel.

The slowdown reflects a ubiquitous pandemic fatigue that emerged elsewhere in the Kaiser poll. More than three in four adults said they believed it was inevitable that most people in the United States would get Covid. More people said they were concerned about the impact of the Omicron variant on the economy and hospitals than on their personal health.

The poll was based on a telephone survey of 1,536 adults conducted from January 11 to 23. Booster rates are higher than those reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to data from the CDC, about half of fully vaccinated adults in the country have received a booster.

The Kaiser survey also looked at the motivations behind people’s decisions around the booster. Of the respondents who had been vaccinated but not yet boosted, about 60 percent said the Omicron variant did not in any way influence their decision to receive the additional shot.

Since the booster’s initial rollout in November, black and Hispanic adults have lagged behind white adults. But when people without a boost were asked if they planned to get one, about 40 percent said they would as soon as possible, an opinion echoed equally across racial lines.

Those findings suggest that the racial divide may be due in part to a lack of access, Ms Hamel said.

Of the adults surveyed who would receive a booster “absolutely not” or “only when necessary”, 22 percent said their main reason was that they felt they did not need it or were not at risk from Covid. Another 19 percent said they didn’t feel a booster would be effective, noting that vaccinated people still get Covid.

Conversely, the main explanation they gave was pragmatic from those who hadn’t yet had a boost but were inclined to get the extra shot: 17 percent said they were ineligible because not enough time had passed since their last vaccine, and 12 percent said they were too busy.

Political affinity remained a major rift along the vaccine divide. Of those who had been vaccinated but not received a booster, 58 percent of Democrats said they would get one ASAP, while only 18 percent of Republicans said they would. About half of the vaccinated Republicans who didn’t get a boost yet said they would get absolutely none or would only do so if they needed to.

But this month’s poll revealed a topic that managed to break the partisan divide. When asked how they felt about the pandemic after nearly two years, Democrats, Independents and Republicans all gave two answers in equal and overwhelming numbers: “Tired” and “frustrated.”

This post A New Poll Asks: Why Don’t Some Vaccinated People Get Boosters?

was original published at “https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/29/health/a-new-poll-asks-why-do-some-vaccinated-people-not-get-boosters.html”