Unvaccinated Americans say COVID vaccines are riskier than the virus, even as Delta surges among them

adults, which was conducted from July 13 to 15, found that just 29 percent of unvaccinated Americans believe the virus poses a greater risk to their health than the vaccines — significantly less than the number who believe the vaccines represent the greater health risk (37 percent) or say they’re not sure (34 percent).

adults — the equivalent of 76 million people — say they will either “never” get vaccinated (51 percent); that they will keep waiting “to see what happens to others before deciding” (20 percent); or that they’re not sure (22 percent).

As such, just half of the unvaccinated say Delta poses “a serious risk” to “all Americans” (33 percent) or “unvaccinated Americans” (17 percent); the other half says the variant doesn’t pose a serious risk to anyone (30 percent) or that they’re not sure (20 percent).

In contrast, a full 85 percent of vaccinated Americans — and 72 percent of all Americans — say Delta poses a serious risk.

More say they’re not worried about getting COVID (12 percent) or — far more frequently — that they don’t trust the COVID vaccines (45 percent).

The most important reason, according to 37 percent of unvaccinated Americans, is that they’re “concerned about long-term side effects.” That’s followed by “I don’t trust the government” (17 percent), “The vaccines are too new” (16 percent), “The FDA hasn’t fully approved the vaccines yet” (11 percent) and “I don’t trust any vaccines” (6 percent).

Second, when unvaccinated skeptics are asked to select “all” the reasons they don’t trust the COVID vaccines — as opposed to just the “most important” — many select all of them.

Fifteen percent of unvaccinated Americans say the spread of Delta makes them more likely to get vaccinated, particularly Democrats (34 percent) and Latinos (34 percent).

Yet another 12 percent of unvaccinated Americans actually say Delta makes them less likely to get a shot, and 73 percent say it makes “no difference.”.

Delving deeper, 20 percent of unvaccinated Americans say they would be “much more” (10 percent) or “somewhat more” (10 percent) likely to get vaccinated “if COVID cases start to rise among unvaccinated people in [their] area”; the same goes for rising local hospitalizations and deaths.

Likewise, 27 percent of unvaccinated Americans say they’d be either much more (12 percent) or somewhat more (15 percent) likely to get vaccinated when the FDA fully approves the COVID vaccines, which are currently authorized for emergency use to combat the pandemic.

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