Fewer American adults than ever say they will not get vaccinated against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and more than ever plan to get children below the age of 12 their shots as soon as the U.S. drug regulator allows it, according to the latest Axios/Ipsos poll.
The new poll is the first to be published since the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and German partner BioNTech SE
on Aug. 23, a move that was expected to help sway some of the hesitant to roll up their sleeves.
The poll found the number of people saying they’re not very likely (6%) or not at all likely (14%) to get their shots, shrank to 20%, down from 23% two weeks ago and from 34% in March. That’s the smallest number to oppose vaccines since the start of the pandemic.
The number of parents who said they have already gotten their children vaccinated, or will as soon as it’s allowed, rose to 68% from 56% two weeks ago and the highest level yet. The number who oppose getting children vaccinated declined to 31%, less than a third, of those polled. There are about 45 million children below the age of 12 in the U.S. who are currently not eligible for vaccination. The FDA is awaiting data from Pfizer
on a major trial involving children that will be used to decide on the issue.
Axios said there are many factors playing a role in the change in attitudes, including worry about the highly transmissible delta variant, which accounts for the majority of new cases across the U.S.
But the bigger factor is the growing number of organizations, from schools and universities to local governments and private companies, that are mandating vaccination. One in three unvaccinated Americans polled said FDA approval would push them to get the vaccine, while 43% said an employer requiring it would play a role, up from 33% a month ago, as Axios reported.
“Schools, organizations, companies, governments implementing mandates are forcing people to deal with them,” said Cliff Young, president of U.S. Public Affairs for Ipsos, according to Axios’s report. “That’s what going on.”
The CDC’s vaccine tracker is showing that 173.8 million Americans are fully vaccinated, equal to 52.4% of the overall population. Some 61.7% of Americans have had at least one dose. Among adults 18 and older, 63.4% are fully inoculated, while 74.1% have had at least one dose.
Public health experts have clamored for more people to get vaccinated as most of the new cases, hospitalizations and fatalities in the past several weeks have been among unvaccinated people.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, told CNN at the weekend that up to 100,000 more Americans could die of COVID by December in what he called “both entirely predictable [and] entirely preventable” deaths.