Americans are less concerned about newer variants of the COVID-19 in comparison to 2021, according to a new poll.
A CBS/YouGov poll found that 48 percent of Americans say they are “somewhat” or “very” concerned about the variants. This is in contrast to the level of concern in late 2021, when 58 percent were concerned about omicron.
COVID-19 infection rates have ticked up as fall and the flu season approach. COVID hospitalizations climbed by 16 percent from mid-August to late August.
The survey results also show that only 45 percent of Americans are concerned about getting COVID or their families being exposed to the virus. This is more than a 30 percent drop since the height of the pandemic, when between 68 percent and 77 percent said the same, according to the poll.
Other findings in the research included a majority of the respondents saying they would not get an updated booster shot this fall, at 57 percent. Forty-three percent of the respondents said they would get it.
When broken down by political party, Democrats (73 percent) were more likely than Republicans (21 percent) to say they would get another vaccine.
When asked how confident they were about the national COVID response, 52 percent said they were “optimistic” and 48 percent said “pessimistic.” When asked about the economy, 35 percent said “optimistic” and 65 percent said “pessimistic.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved updated versions of the COVID vaccine for those six months and older Monday. These shots are manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.
“Vaccination remains critical to public health and continued protection against serious consequences of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death,” Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement. “We very much encourage those who are eligible to consider getting vaccinated.”
The CBS/YouGov poll was conducted Sept. 5-8 — before the FDA approved the updated boosters — among 2,335 U.S. adults. The margin of error for the entire sample is 2.7 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.
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