Unvaccinated Americans not changing their views, behavior on COVID-19 pandemic, study finds
A recent study shed light on a behavioral difference between Americans who received the COVID-19 vaccine and those who willingly remain unvaccinated.
The Kaiser Family Foundation first published its study last week after a survey as part of its ongoing research in the public’s attitudes and experiences with regards to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Researchers found that 67% of Americans who received the vaccine, or plan to get one, still have the same attitude towards the vaccine since June.
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The study found that three in 10 Americans remain unvaccinated. One in ten of those Americans have a "wait and see" approach, and 3% of unvaccinated Americans said they would get the shot only if required to do so.
Fourteen percent of unvaccinated Americans said they will definitely not get the shot and that response hasn’t changed since December, according to the study.
The study pointed out that many unvaccinated Americans are much less worried about coronavirus and the delta variant, and are less confident in safety measures used to stop the spread of the virus compared to Americans who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Three-fourths of unvaccinated adults said they’re not worried about getting seriously ill from the virus with some believing the vaccine is a bigger risk to their health than a coronavirus infection.
However, researchers found that the rise in COVID-19 cases fueled by the delta variant has made some people likely to wear masks and avoid large gatherings again though, that’s mostly coming from vaccinated adults.
The study also pointed out that when it comes to mask-wearing, political party plays a role in which side of the issue people follow.
"Mask-wearing has become a partisan issue during the coronavirus pandemic with majorities of Republicans saying they "never" wear a mask outdoors in crowded places, outdoors with friends and household members, at work, or in a grocery store," the study authors pointed out.
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"Democrats, on the other hand, are more likely to report wearing a mask in all of these locations, except when outdoors with household members and friends," the authors continued.
Several cities have reimposed indoor mask mandates to curb the spread of the coronavirus, such as Los Angeles. Face coverings will be required again within all indoor public places, businesses and establishments in Durham County and the city of Durham due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus, government officials announced on Saturday.
The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States crossed 100,000 new confirmed daily infections Saturday, a milestone last exceeded during the winter surge and driven by the highly transmissible delta variant and low vaccination rates in the South.
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Health officials fear that cases, hospitalizations and deaths will continue to soar if more Americans don’t embrace the vaccine. Nationwide, 50% of residents are fully vaccinated and more than 70% of adults have received at least one dose.
Hospitalizations and deaths are also increasing, though all are still below peaks seen early this year before vaccines became widely available. More than 44,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the CDC, up 30% in a week and nearly four times the number in June. More than 120,000 were hospitalized in January.
The seven-day average for deaths rose from about 270 deaths per day two weeks ago to nearly 500 a day as of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University. Deaths peaked at 3,500 per day in January. Deaths usually lag behind hospitalizations as the disease normally takes a few weeks to kill.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.