Unvaccinated Americans are the least worried about the Delta variant, poll finds

The number of new COVID-19 cases is rising in all 50 states, thanks to the more transmissible Delta variant and the sizable number of adults who aren’t vaccinated. Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Nevada account for a large chunk of the new cases.

But the people most at risk of contracting the Delta variant, those unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, are also the most likely to say they aren’t worried about the Delta variant, according to a CBS News poll released Sunday. The poll found that 62 percent of all U.S. adults, but only 48 percent of those unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, are concerned about the Delta variant. Among the vaccinated, 72 percent said they are worried about the variant.

“Since the start of the outbreak last year, there have always been some Americans more concerned about the virus and the public health impact, generally, than others — and the former group was also more likely to get vaccinated when the shot became available,” CBS News reports. And as more Americans get vaccinated, the ranks of the unvaccinated are ever more dominated by those who say they “don’t trust the government” (50 percent), don’t trust the science (45 percent), and are worried about the side effects (53 percent).

The unvaccinated were disproportionately non-college educated and self-identified as very conservative, and only 10 percent said they would be swayed if their doctor advised them to get vaccinated. A narrow 52 percent majority said President Biden’s focus on encouraging vaccinations is “about right,” but 57 percent of Republicans said Biden is doing “too much” to urge Americans to get the shot.

Overall, 66 percent of Americans gave Biden high marks on his handling of the pandemic, and 64 percent said the U.S. fight against COVID-19 is “going well,” versus 35 percent in January.

The CBS News poll was conducted by YouGov July 14-17 among 2,238 U.S. adults, and the margin of error is ± 2.4 percentage points for the whole sample.

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