As the Biden administration gears up to pitch Americans on a new round of COVID vaccines, a wide partisan divide remains regarding who is likely to get them, according to the results of a new poll.
Conducted by Politico and Morning Consult, the survey found that 57% will probably or definitely get the booster, which are now widely available, versus 43% who say they probably or definitely will not get it.
Only 39% of Republicans say they plan to get the new COVID shot compared to 79% of Democrats who say they plan to roll up their sleeves. Independents are nearly evenly split on the shots, with 48% saying they probably or definitely will receive the booster and 52% saying they probably or definitely will not.
According to the most recent data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), just 17% of all Americans got last year's booster, which suggests there is room for health officials to make inroads with holdouts over the next few months.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services told Politico the department plans to "use every lever at our disposal to inform people about options to protect themselves and their families from severe illness and respiratory viruses."
Following the vaccine rollout, CDC Director Mandy Cohen is reportedly planning to tour the country to promote the updated COVID shot, as well as vaccinations for flu and RSV.
COVID vaccination rates have been trending downward since 2021, when President Joe Biden made getting the majority of Americans vaccinated a priority of his first 100 days in office. More than 80% of people ultimately received their first COVID vaccine, according to Politico.
Pandemic fatigue, increasing resistance to the vaccine from Republican lawmakers and voters, and shrinking government resources combined to tamp down interest in each new round of COVID vaccines, with the latest round facing two new challenges.
The federal government is transferring the bulk of the responsibility for distributing the vaccines to the private sector for the first time, which could potentially cause confusion as both health care providers and patients adjust to the new system. The new vaccine drive also comes as some GOP presidential primary candidates have expressed opposition to COVID vaccines.
Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said that getting the latest shot was "not a good decision for young people and for people who are not at high risk" during a roundtable hosted this week by Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has previously voiced skepticism about the vaccines.
A slight 53% majority of parents of children under 18 said they would probably get their children the newest vaccine. Of those parents, 71% identify as Democrats and 42% identify as Republicans, according to the polling.
The poll was conducted Sept. 9-10 — just before the vaccines were approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC recommended that all Americans get them. It surveyed 1,967 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Nicole Wells ✉
Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.
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