Poll: One-Third Not Confident Vaccines Will Protect Against Coronavirus Variants

CARDIFF, WALES - DECEMBER 08: A member of staff poses with a phial of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination health centre on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the UK's history on December 8, 2020 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Wales joined the other UK nations in …
Justin Tallis - Pool / Getty Images

Over one-third of U.S. adults are not confident the coronavirus vaccines will protect against virus variants, August’s AP-NORC Center Poll survey released this week found.

The survey asked respondents to gauge their confidence in vaccine effectiveness against new variants of the Chinese coronavirus.

“How confident are you that the COVID-19 vaccines will be effective against new variants of the coronavirus?” it asked.

Just over a quarter, 26 percent, said they are extremely or very confident in vaccine efficacy, 40 percent said they are “somewhat” confident, and just over a third, 34 percent, revealed they are not at all or not too confident. The lack of confidence reflects a four-point uptick from the 30 percent who said they were not confident in vaccine efficacy against variants in last month’s survey.

The survey, taken August 12-16, 2021, among 1,729 adults, has a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent.

The shift in opinion follows public health officials’ joint statement released this week, in which they outlined their plan to advance coronavirus booster shots.

In an August 18 joint statement, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the White House COVID-19 Response team recommended that individuals receive coronavirus booster shots eight months after the completion of their vaccination series, citing “evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease.”

“We are prepared to offer booster shots for all Americans beginning the week of September 20 and starting 8 months after an individual’s second dose,” officials said in the joint statement.

“At that time, the individuals who were fully vaccinated earliest in the vaccination rollout, including many health care providers, nursing home residents, and other seniors, will likely be eligible for a booster,” they continued.

This week, the CDC released the findings of a study suggesting vaccine efficacy “may wane over time.”


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