As President Joe Biden sets a goal for 70% of Americans to receive at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose by July 4, new polling shows that those who are still unvaccinated are not in a hurry to get the shot—but rates of those declining the vaccine are decreasing, suggesting more Americans may be persuaded to get inoculated.
A Gallup poll released Wednesday found that 25% of Americans polled April 19-25 said they would not agree to be vaccinated if offered the Covid-19 vaccine at no cost.
That’s the lowest refusal rate Gallup has recorded so far, down from 26% in March and 29% in January and February.
The Gallup poll found the most common reason respondents cited for not getting a shot was that they’re waiting to confirm it’s safe (24%) followed by not thinking the effects of Covid-19 are serious (21%) and concern about the quick timeline in which it was developed (17%).
A Harris poll conducted April 23-25 of 2,097 respondents that was released this week similarly found that many of the unvaccinated are procrastinating on getting the shot rather than unwilling to: 10% said they would get the shot “whenever they get around to it” and 21% plan to “wait a while and see,” versus 14% who say they will not get vaccinated.
Gen Z is the most likely group to say they’ll get vaccinated whenever they get around to it (with 30% saying they’re procrastinating), according to the Harris poll, while Republicans and rural respondents have the highest rates of outright refusing the vaccine (18% and 22%, respectively).
55%. That’s the percentage of Gallup respondents who said they were very or moderately concerned about people not getting vaccinated, versus only 15% who now say they’re concerned about vaccine supply.
Vaccine hesitancy has become a greater concern as the pace of vaccinations in the U.S. has slowed and the country nears the point at which everyone who wants a shot will have received one. The Harris poll is in line with past polling that’s consistently shown Republicans are the most likely to be unwilling to get the vaccine, and a recent Morning Consult poll found the highest rates of vaccine hesitancy are in many right-leaning states like Mississippi, Idaho and South Dakota. As many Americans have already gotten the shot who want one, more doses have been going unused and mass vaccination sites have shut down, prompting new government efforts and incentives to get the shot in order to persuade those who are still on the fence. New Jersey announced this week that those who get their first shot in May will be entitled to a free beer, for instance, while Maryland announced state employees will receive $100 for getting inoculated.