BARCELONA, Spain — Vaccine hesitancy is turning into a complete vaccine stalemate for many Americans. According to a new survey, half of U.S. adults who are still unwilling to get the coronavirus vaccine say there is nothing anyone can do to change their minds.
In a nationwide poll of more than 6,000 American adults, an international team of researchers found that the main reason revolves around fears that the COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe. Study authors conducted the poll in April 2021, with a third of respondents coming from across the U.S. and the rest living in major cities including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Chicago.
Of the 2,000 participants coming from areas around the U.S., one in five (21.4%) are unwilling to take the COVID vaccine. The only major city in the survey with a similar number of residents avoiding the vaccine was Dallas (19.7%). Just 10.1 percent of New Yorkers are still unwilling to get vaccinated, followed by 11.2 percent in Chicago, and 11.5 percent in Los Angeles.
For those refusing to take the vaccine, half say nothing can convince them to reconsider. Previous studies have found that unvaccinated individuals are at the greatest risk of dying from a coronavirus infection — regardless of age or pre-existing conditions.
More dangerous than the virus?
Lead researcher Jeffrey Lazarus and his team found that Americans who work outside of their home, hold conservative political views, or have a lower household income are more likely to refuse the vaccine.
Contrary to previous polls, researchers found that education, race, and gender did not provide a clear link to a person’s unwillingness to take the COVID vaccine.
The survey also shows that 82 percent of Americans agree that the pandemic is a serious threat to public health. However, 18 percent think COVID vaccinations are more dangerous than the virus itself. Another 15 percent believe the vaccine won’t prevent them from getting sick.
When it comes to the possibility of the U.S. government mandating that all residents take the vaccine, just over 50 percent of respondents are in favor of such a mandate. Two in three Americans support requiring vaccinations for international travelers.
The findings appear in the journal Scientific Reports.