A new national survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies in partnership with Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock examines some critical issues to navigate during the last few miles of the coronavirus pandemic:
Vaccine Distribution Debate
With the rollout of an effective vaccine, a majority of Americans are eager to receive the vaccine when it becomes available to them (54% extremely/very likely to take the vaccine). Yet, at the same time, there are hurdles to overcome for efficient distribution—women and minority groups are reluctant to take the vaccine, and among those who are unlikely to get the vaccine, 59% say they are worried about side effects. Despite these disparities, 63% of Americans believe that employers should be able to require that their employees receive the vaccine, setting the stage for challenges as the country slowly returns to normalcy.
The Toll on Health Care Workers
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly put a strain on the health care system, but it is taking a heavy toll on those who make up the system. Fifteen percent (15%) of health care workers say they are not likely to continue a career in health care after the pandemic. Health care workers aged 18-34 are less likely to stay in the field compared to those aged 35-64 (23% / 9% not likely, respectively). Only 25% of health care workers overall say that they are somewhat likely to continue their career in health care, while 59% say they are very likely. Furthermore, 55% of health care workers who are skeptical to take the vaccine say it is because of potential side effects, while a majority of Americans think hospitals should require their staff to be vaccinated.
A Reason to be Optimistic
While 76% of Americans are worried that they or a loved one will contract the virus, Americans are less likely to put off routine or preventative care compared to our last survey in August. In addition, doctors and hospitals remain some of the most trusted professionals and institutions nationwide, especially when it comes to educating people on the vaccine. Finally, a majority of Americans have used telehealth and 74% of those who have used it plan to continue after the pandemic is over. These are just a few bright spots to take away as the country traverses these last few miles.
The survey was conducted from January 12-16, 2021 among 1,002 adults. It has a credibility interval of +3.53%.