Survey: One-Third of US Seniors Don't Think They Need COVID-19 Booster

With more than half of US adults still without the updated COVID-19 booster shot, the survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation offers some insight into current vaccine concerns.

Key takeaways:
  • arrow-right
    A new survey found that less than 1 in 4 adults have gotten the COVID-19 booster shot, with around 16% who say they plan to get it soon.
  • arrow-right
    The Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that most adults avoid the COVID-19 booster for several reasons including, fear of its side effects, and not trusting the shot’s benefits.
  • arrow-right
    According to the results of the KFF poll, public opinion on vaccines as a whole has been influenced by the controversy surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic vaccine requirements and mandates.
  • arrow-right
    Just 4 in 10 adults say they've gotten, or plan to get, the latest COVID-19 bivalent booster, according to the latest COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor.

The findings come amid a government push to get people boosted ahead of the winter and holiday season. The Biden administration just began a six-week program to reach seniors and other populations particularly struck by the virus. The campaign also hopes to make it easier to receive the booster.

The survey showed that just 22% of adults said they have gotten the shot, while around 16% said they will soon. Adults 65 and older, who are at higher risk of COVID-19, are said to have taken the booster at a rate of around 39 percent, with another 16% saying they intend to get the booster soon.

According to the study, most people (44%) who received the original COVID-19 vaccine series say they haven’t gotten the booster because they don’t think they need to. Another one-third of people said they have been too busy to get the booster shot.

About 25 percent of people say they did not get the COVID booster because they want to avoid bad side effects. Another 17% say they will wait until there is a COVID-19 surge in their area to get the booster.

Seniors have similar reasons for avoiding the booster, with about one-third (36%) claiming they don’t think they need it. Seniors also say they avoid the booster because they don’t feel the benefits are worth it.

KFF explains that many of the debates and early protests regarding the COVID-19 pandemic vaccine requirements and mandates have had an impact on how people view vaccines overall.

The survey shows that even though most of the public continues to trust the benefits of childhood vaccines (like MMR), fewer parents are comfortable with their children being required to have vaccines for school.

Much of the resistance against vaccines is politically charged. According to the KFF survey:

Though there were no significant differences across partisans in 2019, our survey finds that Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are now less likely than their Democratic counterparts to believe the benefits of MMR vaccines outweigh the risks (83% vs. 91%).

There also seems to be a link between adults without COVID-19 vaccines and their views on childhood school vaccinations. About 63 percent of adults without COVID-19 vaccines believe parents should be able to say no to vaccinating their children in order to attend public school.

Although the survey results suggest that COVID-19 is less of a concern for most people, health officials still emphasize the need for boosters to protect the most vulnerable populations, such as seniors and those with underlying conditions, like asthma.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked