- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 21, 2021

More than half of vaccinated adults who haven’t gotten a COVID-19 booster shot say the omicron threat makes them more likely to go get an extra dose, according to a poll that found the variant is having a smaller impact on unvaccinated persons mulling a first dose.

The Kaiser Family Foundation found that 54% of vaccinated adults said the fast-moving strain is pushing them toward getting a booster versus 46% who said it doesn’t have an impact on their decision.

“Omicron’s emergence appears to be having a much smaller, but not insignificant, effect on unvaccinated adults,” with 12% of unvaccinated persons saying they are more likely to head out for an initial shot, the pollsters found.

The poll was conducted Dec. 15-20, when the omicron threat was rising but before federal officials revealed the strain had become dominant in the U.S.

Federal officials are pushing vaccinated Americans to get a booster dose once eligible, citing lab studies that suggest a third dose will be an adequate bulwark against the new strain.

About half the public now says they worry about becoming seriously sick from the virus, up from 30% in a November tracking poll.

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Somewhat oddly, vaccinated persons were more likely to report fears of getting sick than unvaccinated persons, 52% to 42%, though the finding underscores the idea that unvaccinated persons don’t see the virus as a huge threat.

Roughly half of the unvaccinated (48%) say nothing can convince them to come forward for the shots.

Others said they might come forward if there was more research and transparency around the vaccines (12%); if their jobs required it or it was otherwise mandatory (6%); if they received a large sum of money to get the shots (5%); if a doctor recommended it (3%); or if the vaccine prevented all infections (3%).

Kaiser also found about three-quarters of adults know the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a booster shot for all adults once they are eligible. However, 19% said they are not sure about the recommendation and 4% incorrectly believe they are not recommended for all adults.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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