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Interesting findings from Kaiser survey
Pro vaccine public health system seems to be failing
The Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor Poll was designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation. The survey was conducted November 29 – December 8, 2022, online and by telephone among a nationally representative sample of 1,259 U.S. adults in English (1,203) and in Spanish (56).
Here are excerpts that merit attention, especially limited vaccine support.
With COVID-19 cases rising across the country, just about a third of adults say they are worried they will get seriously sick from COVID-19, though nearly half of the public say they are worried about an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the U.S. this winter. As previous KFF surveys have repeatedly found, Black and Hispanic adults continue to be more concerned about the pandemic compared to White adults, with about two-thirds of Black adults (68%) and Hispanic adults (69%) saying they are worried about an increase in cases and hospitalizations this winter, compared to about four in ten White adults who say the same.
Older adults are more likely than those under age 65 to say they are worried they will get seriously sick from COVID-19 (43% vs. 34%) and that cases and hospitalizations will rise this winter (60% vs. 46%).
Vaccine Booster Shots
Though many no longer see COVID-19 as a uniquely urgent threat, public health officials continue to encourage vaccination and emphasize the importance of the updated bivalent booster to help prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19, particularly in light of holiday gathering and travel. However, public uptake of the updated booster is relatively tepid, with just about one in five adults saying they have already gotten it. Democrats (38%) and adults ages 65 and older (39%) have been more eager, with about four in ten saying have already gotten the updated COVID-19 booster which has been available since September. Fewer young adults under the age of 30 (11%) and Republicans (12%) report having gotten an updated booster dose.
Though public health officials have stressed the importance of the updated COVID-19 booster for older adults who are more vulnerable to complications from a COVID infection, more than half of adults ages 65 and older have not yet gotten the updated booster. About a third (36%) of vaccinated adults ages 65 and older who have not yet gotten the bivalent booster say they don’t think they need it (36%) and a similar share say they don’t think the benefit of the updated booster is worth it.
About one in ten adults say they want to “wait and see” before getting the new booster (12%), while a similar share (13%) say they will only get it if they are required to do so. A further 9% say they will definitely not get the new updated booster while about one in four adults (27%) are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated, and therefore not eligible for the updated bivalent booster dose.
Political Party Differences
Vaccinated Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are particularly skeptical of the value of the updated booster with about two-thirds of those who have not yet gotten it saying they don’t think they need it (64%) and that the benefit is not worth it (61%) while Democrats are most likely to say they have been too busy or haven’t had the time to get the update booster (51%).
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