A significant portion of Americans, particularly Republicans, appears reluctant to comply with President Joe Biden’s push for more COVID-19 vaccine shots, according to a recent poll. Amid reports of new variants and the administration’s efforts to encourage additional vaccinations, the majority of respondents, especially those aligned with the GOP, expressed a lack of interest in the agenda.
In August, Moderna announced promising results from an early study on its new vaccine, and Pfizer reported success against specific variants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended updated COVID-19 vaccines for all individuals aged 6 months and older on September 12, shortly after First Lady Jill Biden, who had received two doses and two boosters, contracted the virus.
President Biden, aged 80, also received a booster shot on September 22 and urged all Americans to do the same, despite the virus’s mild symptoms for most people. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor poll revealed that 52% of U.S. adults are not interested in President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination agenda. Within this group, 33% said they would “definitely not get” the vaccine, and 19% stated they would “probably not get” it.
Conversely, 23% of adults indicated they “definitely” plan to get the vaccine, and 23% said they would “probably” get it. Additionally, 94% of respondents who had never received a vaccine indicated they were unlikely to do so. However, only 1% indicated they would consider getting vaccinated at this point, years after the U.S. reached herd immunity.
Parents, in particular, seem cautious about vaccinating their children. According to the KFF, most parents, especially those with children aged 5 and younger, have no plans to get the new COVID-19 vaccine for their children.
Political affiliation plays a crucial role in vaccine uptake, with 69% of Democrats indicating they would probably or definitely get the latest shot, compared to just 25% of Republicans. Conversely, 29% of Democrats expressed resistance, while 76% of Republicans said they would not get the booster.
Vaccine confidence appears to differ along party lines as well, with 84% of Democrats believing the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are safe, compared to only 36% of Republicans. Trust in the CDC and FDA also varies, with 88% of Democrats expressing trust in the CDC and 86% in the FDA, while only 40% and 42% of Republicans expressed similar levels of trust in these agencies, respectively.
As has been true throughout the pandemic, a much smaller share of Republicans (24%) than Democrats (70%) expect to get the new COVID-19 vaccine – a 46 percentage point gap, according to our latest COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor poll. https://t.co/u1INw3bC6o pic.twitter.com/T1DZr0YFK1
— KFF (@KFF) October 1, 2023