1 In 5 Adults Still Reject Covid Vaccines, Poll Finds — Here Are The Biggest Groups Still Holding Out

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, high numbers of Americans still refuse Covid-19 vaccines despite the devastating wave of coronavirus delta that swept through hospitals, sending death rates skyrocketing. This underscores the difficulties officials face in trying to overcome the pandemic.

Kaiser polled 55% of adults to find they still oppose vaccination. UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Key Facts

According to the Kaiser poll conducted among 1,519 adults in the United States, one fifth of Americans said that they would not get a Covid-19 vaccine (16%) or only if necessary (4%). The poll revealed that 31% of Republicans and 33% of rural residents opposed vaccinations said they would not get it. Another 3% and 22% stated they would only give the shot if necessary. Uninsured persons under 65 (28%) said they would not have the vaccine, while white evangelical Christians (26%), people aged 30-49 (25%), and men (24%) were strongly opposed to vaccinations. Kaiser found that partisan divisions persist among fully vaccinated adults. Nearly four-in-10 (38%) of them were fully vaccinated Republicans, and nearly four-fifths (9%) said they would not receive a booster shot.


Kaiser found that 25% of workers claim their employer requires them to be vaccinated. Kaiser found that 51% of workers who are not subject to a mandate to get vaccinated at work (compared to 21% who are). These numbers change when separated by vaccination status. Nearly three-quarters of adult vaccine-free adults (90%) say they don't want their employer to require vaccinations, compared with 35% of vaccinated adults (35%).

What to Watch

Kaiser found that more than a third (37%) of unvaccinated workers would quit their job if their employer required them to get vaccinated, even if there was an alternative. This rose to 72% if no testing options were available. 32% of Republicans polled indicated that they know someone who left their job to comply with a vaccine mandate.

Important Background

At all levels of government, as well as in corporate America, patience with unvaccinated people is waning. A significant proportion of the U.S. populace is still unvaccinated despite a large vaccine supply and all eligible adults (and children) being eligible for vaccinations for many months. Kaiser polls and other polls show that resistance to vaccinations has been steady for months despite significant changes in the pandemic and spread of the delta variant. Unvaccinated people were almost the main reason for the spike in deaths, hospitalizations, and cases this summer. Employers have implemented their own policies to encourage vaccination. In September, President Biden announced broad new mandates that all businesses with over 100 employees must require their employees to get vaccinated. After the requirements were made public, vaccination rates have been increasing among workers.

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