The U.S. has seen a recent surge in men and women getting vaccinated against COVID-19, and employer-enforced mandates, as well as policies restricting access to concerts, sporting events, restaurants and other leisure activities, appear to be driving the spike, at least in part.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 77.1% of all adults in the U.S. have now received at least one dose of one of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines.
Elizabeth Chuck of NBC News reported on a Kaiser Family Foundation study that attempted to determine what was driving the vaccination rates, polling more than 1,500 recently vaccinated adults over a 10-day period earlier this month.
Based on Kaiser Family data, 39% of people vaccinated after June 1 cited the highly transmissible delta variant of the disease as the primary reason to seek the vaccine. Thirty-eight percent cited “hospitals filling up,” and 36% knew someone who became seriously ill or died due to COVID-19.
Corporate policies for both workers and consumers appeared to be a key motivator as well.
Researchers found that 35% of individuals surveyed “wanted to participate in activities that required vaccinations, such as travel or attending events,” and an additional 19% reported that newly established employer mandates were key factors in their decision to get vaccinated. Fifteen percent of respondents said the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had also been an important motivator. (Poll participants were able to cite multiple reasons for getting vaccinated, hence the data figures totaling over 100%.)
“Nothing motivates people to get vaccinated quite like the impact of seeing a family member, friend or neighbor die or become seriously ill with COVID-19, or to worry that your hospital might not be able to save your life if you need it,” Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman said in a statement. “When a theoretical threat becomes a clear and present danger, people are more likely to act to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
Another key finding from the study is that the most significant indicator determining which groups have been vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to be political affiliation.
“Ninety percent of Democrats reported receiving at least one dose, compared to 58% of Republicans,” Chuck reported. “Sixty-eight percent of independents said they were at least partially vaccinated.”