Unvaccinated adults are less worried about the spread of new coronavirus strains — including the delta variant — than those who have been vaccinated or are planning to get a shot, according to a new survey.
A Gallup poll found that 78% of fully vaccinated adults said they were “very” or “moderately worried” about new COVID strains while 77% of those who plan to get vaccinated that they were “concerned.” Meanwhile, 19% of respondents who don’t plan to get vaccinated said they were worried and 55% said they were “not worried at all.”
The survey was conducted July 19-26 with a sample of 3,475 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
The poll comes as COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the country, fueled by vaccine hesitancy and the delta variant, which was discovered in India and is now the dominant strain in the U.S.
Americans are also less confident than they were a month ago that they can protect themselves from getting COVID-19. The share of respondents who are “very confident” fell to 38% in the most recent poll after 50% said the same in June and 51% said they were very confident in May.
“Since the poll was completed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has intensified its warnings about the dangers the delta variant poses and has recommended that vaccinated people wear face masks in certain areas,” Gallup researchers said. “New research also indicates that the variant is as contagious as chickenpox and the common cold, and that vaccinated people who are sickened by it are as likely as unvaccinated people to spread it.”
The poll shows that people have become more worried about unvaccinated adults compared to previous surveys. Sixty percent of respondents said they are “very or moderately worried” compared to 53% who said the same in May.
Vaccinated Americans are more likely to be confident that the current COVID-19 vaccines can protect people from new variants or strains. Eighty-seven percent of vaccinated adults said they were “very or moderately confident” that the vaccines will offer protection while 21% of those who don’t plan to get vaccinated said the same.
COVID-19 cases across the U.S. have risen 119% in the past two weeks and hospitalizations have increased 82% over that same period as of Aug. 6, according to The New York Times.
As the number of cases surge, so do the number of people getting vaccinated, WPTV reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also changed its guidance to advise those vaccinated against the coronavirus to wear masks indoors in areas with high COVID-19 transmission.
The U.S. has had more than 35 million coronavirus cases and 615,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University data as of Aug. 6.