Share of Americans who want Covid-19 vaccine growing, poll finds

About half of those who want to get vaccinated knew someone who had. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - A greater share of the American public wants to get a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible compared with those surveyed in December, a new poll found.

Almost half of 1,563 adults surveyed expressed enthusiasm for getting the vaccine, up from 34 per cent last month, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The share increased among black, Hispanic and white adults.

The Kaiser poll correlated enthusiasm for getting vaccinated with whether the respondent knows someone who has already received a dose.

About half of those who want to get vaccinated knew someone who had, yet that factor varied along race and income lines.

"Perhaps more important than any message is the impact of seeing a neighbour, friend or family member get their shots without any adverse effects," said Dr Drew Altman, chief executive officer at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

While the poll found eagerness to get the vaccine is rising across racial groups, black and Hispanic adults remain more likely than white adults to demonstrate hesitancy.

Republicans and residents of rural areas are most hesitant, saying they either definitely won't get a vaccine or would only do so if required.

Of survey respondents, white adults were more likely than those who are black or Hispanic to have been vaccinated or know someone who has.

Additionally, those with annual household incomes of US$90,000 (S$120,000) or more were almost twice as likely to be in that category as those with incomes of less than US$40,000.

So far, 23.5 million doses of the vaccine have been given in the US, according to Bloomberg's Vaccine Tracker.

In the past week, an average of 1.25 million doses a day were administered.

White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice said on Tuesday (Jan 26) in a press briefing that the Biden administration's Covid-19 task force will reach out directly to people of colour through targeted campaigns to combat scepticism.

"We have to take those additional steps to ensure that they are aware of its availability and get appointments, and that they understand that the vaccine is safe," she said.

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