A majority of vaccinated Americans said in a new poll that they would get a COVID booster shot if it became available.
Sixty-two percent of vaccinated Americans said they would get a booster as the delta variant, which was first discovered in India, continues to spread, according to a Yahoo News/YouGov poll conducted July 13-15 based on a sample size of 1,715 adults. The margin of error is around 2.7 percentage points.
Pfizer and BioNTech said earlier this month they plan to ask for a COVID-19 vaccine booster to be authorized in the U.S. and in Europe, Reuters reported. There is evidence that there is a higher risk of infection six months after getting vaccinated, according to the publication.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a joint statement on July 8 that fully vaccinated Americans don’t need a booster shot right now and are monitoring when it could be necessary to get one.
“People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as delta,” the statement read. “People who are not vaccinated remain at risk. Virtually all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among those who are unvaccinated.”
The survey also found that of the Americans who have heard of the delta variant, 31% said they were “very worried” and 36% said they were “somewhat worried.”
Of the people surveyed who haven’t been vaccinated, 45% said they don’t trust COVID vaccines, 12% said they weren’t worried about getting COVID, 9% said they already had COVID and 4% said they don’t have “easy access to vaccination.”
Of the respondents who said they don’t trust the COVID vaccines, 60% said the vaccines were “too new,” 45% said the FDA hasn’t fully approved the shots yet, 50% said they were worried about short-term side effects, 70% said they were worried about long-term side effects, 55% said they don’t trust the government and 45% said they don’t trust the drug companies.
Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said in a July 16 briefing that more than 97% of people who are getting hospitalized with COVID are unvaccinated, CNN reported.
“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Walensky said.
The recent spike in COVID-19 cases across the country has been fueled by vaccine hesitancy and the delta variant, which has spread to multiple countries.
More than 186 million people in the U.S. have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine as of July 19, including more than 161 million who are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.