The majority of unvaccinated Americans say they do not plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a new poll.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows 56.5% of Americans have gotten at least one dose, and 43.5% have not received one. Of those people, a poll by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 35% say they probably will not get the vaccine, and 45% say they definitely will not.
Unvaccinated people don’t have confidence in the effectiveness of the vaccine, the survey found, with 64% saying they have little to no confidence in it, even against the highly spreadable delta variant that now accounts for a vast majority of cases in the U.S.
The findings come as governors in states with high infection rates are asking those who remain unvaccinated to get the shot. The study was conducted before a number of Republican governors and lawmakers made their appeals this week.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday said it was “time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks” for a spike in her state’s COVID cases, drawing criticism that she has failed to lead Alabama through the pandemic.
Ron DeSantis, Florida’s Republican governor, also pushed for vaccinations.
“Here’s, I think, the most important thing with the data: if you are vaccinated, fully vaccinated, the chance of you getting seriously ill or dying from COVID is effectively zero,” DeSantis said Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Florida. “If you look at the people who are being admitted to hospitals, over 95 percent of them are either not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all. These vaccines are saving lives. They are reducing mortality.”
Florida recorded more coronavirus cases this week than California, Texas, New York and Illinois combined, according to an analysis of state and federal data shows by the Palm Beach Post, part of the USA TODAY network.
Also in the news:
► The Justice Department has declined to pursue an investigation into New York state-run nursing homes over their response to COVID-19, according to a letter sent to Republican lawmakers who had demanded an inquiry.
► The White House is refusing to release the number of breakthrough COVID-19 cases among vaccinated staff after one aide tested positive for the virus earlier this week.
► People who are severely immune-compromised should consider getting a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and should definitely take other precautions like wearing masks and making sure those around them are vaccinated, several members of a federal advisory committee said.
► Louisiana Gov. Bel Edwards is calling for mask-wearing to resume indoors for vaccinated and unvaccinated people as more than 1,000 in the state are hospitalized with COVID. The governor said Louisiana has the highest rate of new cases per capita of any state, but did not say he would implement a mask mandate or new restrictions.
► Common respiratory viruses are making a comeback, and a particularly severe flu season could be on the horizon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Friday.
📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has had more than 34.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 610,720 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: More than 193 million cases and 4.1 million deaths. More than 162.4 million Americans — 48.9% of the population — have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
📘What we’re reading: Those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can be infected, but serious illness is rare. “It’s not 100%. But nothing in this world is 100%,” said epidemiologist Carlos del Rio. Read more here.
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Florida asks Supreme Court to block federal coronavirus restrictions for cruise ships
State officials in Florida asked the Supreme Court on Friday to lift federal restrictions that have been placed on the cruise industry to address COVID-19, bringing the long-running court battle over the requirements to the nation’s highest court.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention halted cruises at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic last year, and the agency has since laid out a four-phase framework allowing the ships to sail but under specific conditions, such as with social distancing, on-board COVID testing laboratories and more advanced ventilation systems.
A federal district court judge temporarily blocked enforcement of the CDC requirements last month, but the Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit sided with the agency last weekend, allowing the requirements to remain in place.
-John Fritze and Josh Rivera
US to buy 200M more doses of Pfizer vaccine ‘to prepare for every contingency’
The federal government is buying 200 million more doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to prepare for future needs, such as boosters and shots for kids under 12.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration wants to have “maximum flexibility” to address changing conditions, and it’s “going to prepare for every contingency.” The additional doses will be delivered between this fall and spring of next year.
It’s unclear whether booster shots will be needed for fully vaccinated people, but breakthrough infections attributed to the rapidly spreading delta variant have sparked a discussion. Most new coronavirus cases in vaccinated people have been mild or asymptomatic.
Contributing: The Associated Press