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Data: Axios/Ipsos Poll; Note: 3.2% margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

For the first time since the pandemic began, less than half of Americans (43%) say returning to their "normal" pre-coronavirus lives would pose a large or moderate risk, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: This tipping point comes as nearly two thirds of respondents in our weekly national poll say they've gotten at least one shot.

  • Half of those with children under 18 say they're likely to vaccinate them as soon as they're eligible — a day that has come for many of them now that the Food and Drug Administration has authorized Pfizer's vaccine to be given to 12- to 15-year-olds.

The intrigue: Americans are divided over whether and when they should have to show proof of vaccination.

  • 55% support showing proof to return to their normal workplace, and 57% endorse it for attending sports events. More than six in 10 favor proof for airplane or cruise travel or hotel stays. Half or fewer support it for dining out or shopping.

What they're saying: "It's all about the vaccine," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.

  • "The vaccine is conditioning how Americans are engaging and seeing the world today," Young said. "As more get it, the more normal things will become."

What we're watching: 62% of respondents said they've asked family or close friends about their vaccine status, while 28% said their employers have asked them their status. Only 5% said employers are requiring them to get the vaccine.

Between the lines: Volunteering your own status is more prevalent among those who have been vaccinated, Democrats, people 50 and older and those who live in urban or suburban areas.

  • 79% of people who have been vaccinated say they've asked friends and family about their status, compared with 71% of Democrats, 57% of Republicans and 30% of the unvaccinated.

Mask behavior is relaxing as vaccinations rise and following eased guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for those who have been vaccinated.

  • 74% say they're always or sometimes masking when indoors in public places, while just 31% said they were masking when spending time outdoors with family or friends who are fully vaccinated.
  • Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to say they're wearing masks.

Details: Overall, measures of mental and emotional health continued to improve in the latest survey. And Americans who've been vaccinated are relaxing their behaviors.

  • That last group is an important one to watch because, in months past, those most eager for the vaccine also have been more worried about catching or spreading the virus and more careful about masking and social distancing. Getting the shot appears to be easing their fears and behaviors.

By the numbers: 54% of Americans overall said they'd gone out to eat, the first time that figure has surpassed 50% since we began asking the question a year ago. That included 53% of those who have been vaccinated and 57% of those who haven't.

  • Most Americans say they're still maintaining six-foot distances from others outside the home at least sometimes, but those who say they do it all the time has slipped to 40%, the lowest in 13 months.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted May 7-10 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,078 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.

Go deeper

Biden's booster plan receives criticism at home and abroad

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. Photo: Samuel Corum/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Wednesday's announcement that all Americans will be eligible for COVID-19 boosters eight months after their second dose was met with skepticism at home and opposition abroad.

Driving the news: Many public health experts criticized the decision as premature or even unethical, and that eight months is too long — vulnerability can return as soon as five months after the second dose.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up — Team USA to mandate vaccine for Winter Olympic hopefuls — U.S. to buy 500 million more Pfizer doses to share with the world.
  2. Health: Some experts see signs of hope as cases fall — WHO: Nearly 1 in 4 Afghan COVID hospitals shut after Taliban takeover — D.C. goes further than area counties with vaccine mandates.
  3. Politics: Bolsonaro isolating after health minister tests positive at UN summit — United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated — Mormon Church to mandate masks in temples.
  4. Education: Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine — Education Department investigating Texas mask mandate ban — D.C. schools to require teachers, staff to receive vaccine without testing option.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Aug 19, 2021 - Health

Washington state announces strictest school vaccine mandate in U.S.

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee during a 2020 news conference in Seattle. Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

All Washington state teachers and school staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 under a new employment condition announced by Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The requirement that includes school bus drivers and volunteers in the public and private sectors marks the strictest vaccine mandate for schools in the U.S. Staff have to be vaccinated by Oct. 18 or face the threat of being fired.