The US can still achieve herd immunity, research suggests: Nearly 70% of adults say they WILL be vaccinated against Covid or the proportion refusing the injection is already dropping to 17%
- 69% of American adults have had at least one dose or plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the latest Economist / YouGov survey suggests.
- The proportion who say they will not be vaccinated has fallen to 17% – the lowest rate since August
- 14% of American adults said they were still ‘not sure’ whether they would be vaccinated
- Nearly 60 percent of adult Americans have now had at least their first dose of vaccine, and about 45% have been fully vaccinated
- On Monday, the FDA gave approval to give Pfizer’s vaccine to children between the ages of 12 and 15, making an additional 17 million people eligible for vaccination.
Nearly enough American adults plan to be – or have already been – vaccinated against COVID-19 for the U.S. to achieve herd immunity, a new study suggests.
The last YouGov / Economist poll found that 69 percent of adults have had a first dose, have been fully vaccinated or plan to be vaccinated against the virus that has claimed the lives of more than 580,000 people in the US since the start of the pandemic.
And the proportion of adults who say they will not be vaccinated has fallen to its lowest level in at least 10 months: 17 percent.
Even among the groups that have been skeptical about vaccination, the level of uptake is increasing, with 61 percent of Republicans saying they have had or will receive the vaccine, up from about 40 percent in January.
The results are promising signs that the US could meet the herd’s 70 percent immunity threshold initially proposed by public health experts.
Average daily deaths in the US are on track to hit their lowest point since the pandemic started in America in March 2020, falling to 620 a day on Tuesday.
However, new threats are on the horizon. It is now estimated that two-thirds of cases in the US are caused by the faster-spreading British variant, and cases caused by the variant that devastated India are slowly increasing (though they are, according to the CDC).
The latest YouGov / Economist poll found that 69 percent of adults have had a first dose, are fully vaccinated, or plan to be vaccinated against COVID-19
With the more contagious British variant dominant in the US, the bar for herd immunity is rising – probably more than 80 percent of Americans should be vaccinated.
And despite the growing share of the population wanting the vaccine, the number of people actually receiving the vaccine has fallen sharply since mid-April.
Average daily vaccinations in the US peaked at about 3.3 million a day around April 15, but had fallen to less than two million by May 8.
Refusals likely came after the vast majority of people who wanted to be vaccinated had already done so.
Public health officials were concerned that the US might have vaccinated to the threshold of those who are hesitant to get the shots earlier than expected.
But the YouGov / Economist survey is just the most recent showing that the proportion of Americans who say they don’t want a vaccine is on the decline.
And the share that wants the photo is increasing.
The US may not be seeing more than three million injections per day anytime soon, but the survey suggests that overall vaccination coverage could continue to rise steadily.
Republicans and independents in the US were more reluctant to vaccinate compared to Democrats.
In August, about 60 percent of Democrats wanted to get vaccinated, compared to about a third of Independents and Republicans.
Interestingly, the liberal withdrawal rate fell to its lowest point in October, around the time former President Trump tested positive for COVID-19.
Confidence in vaccines slowly but steadily declined among independents and Republicans in January, around the time of President Biden’s inauguration.
But trust is increasing among all groups.
About 61 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Independents now say they are or have been given the opportunity.
As of Tuesday, 87 percent of Democrats surveyed want the vaccine.
However, a previous YouGov / Economist survey found that 80 percent of people who don’t want a COVID-19 vaccine said nothing will change their mind.
Current vaccine uptake figures place American adults at the lowest proposed measure of herd immunity.
More contagious variants could put the herd’s immunity out of reach of the US, if those who say they’ve burrowed into the vaccine don’t change their mind.