Fewer Americans are reluctant to get immunized against the coronavirus and they are growing more confident in the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and the quality of their distribution. But those who still hesitate have concerns about whether the vaccines have been properly tested. And 61 percent of those who are hesitant worry about side effects from the vaccines.
According to a new survey from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago, 64 percent of Americans have already been vaccinated. Another 4 percent say they “definitely will” get the COVID-19, while another 10 percent “probably will.”
Even as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has relaxed guidelines regarding the wearing of masks outdoors, Americans continue to report high levels of compliance with mask wearing and social distancing. Compliance is particularly high among those who have already been vaccinated.
Democrats are much more likely to be vaccinated, with 79 percent having already been immunized, compared to 56 percent of Republicans and 40 percent of independents.
Despite initial doubts at the start of the vaccine rollout, attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccines are improving as the number of inoculated people in the United States increases. For example, 53 percent of Americans now believe vaccines are being distributed quickly and safely, compared to just 28 percent in February and 22 percent last December.
Still, among the vaccine hesitant, 76 percent lack confidence in the safety of the vaccine. Only 7 percent of those who already are vaccinated lack confidence in the safety of the vaccines.
Among those who are hesitant about getting vaccinated, 55 percent are very concerned about side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine and an additional 16 percent are somewhat worried. Of those who have already been vaccinated, only 9 percent are very concerned about side effects and 16 percent are somewhat worried.
Worries about family members getting infected with the coronavirus have dipped to levels similar to the beginning of the pandemic. Still, 53 percent continue to be at least somewhat worried about the virus. Two-thirds of adults who do not intend to get vaccinated have little or no worries about COVID-19 infection.
The CDC has relaxed guidelines regarding the wearing of masks outdoors, but still 78 percent of Americans report high levels of compliance with mask wearing. Even after controlling for various demographics and party identification, vaccinated people are more likely to take precautions against the coronavirus including wearing masks and social distancing. Unvaccinated people are less likely to take these precautions.
The nationwide poll was conducted April 29-May 3, 2021 using the AmeriSpeak Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,842 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.2 percentage points.
University of Chicago