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Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: Among a sample of 295 respondents, with a margin of error of +/-5.8%; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

Most Americans who still aren't vaccinated say nothing — not their own doctor administering it, a favorite celebrity's endorsement or even paid time off — is likely to make them get the shot, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: The findings are more sobering evidence of just how tough it may be to reach herd immunity in the U.S. But they also offer a roadmap for trying — the public health equivalent of, "So you're telling me there's a chance."

What they're saying: "There's a part of that population that are nudge-able and another part that are unbudge-able," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.

  • "From a public health standpoint they've got to figure out how you nudge the nudge-able."

Details: 30% of U.S. adults in our national survey said they haven't yet gotten the COVID-19 vaccine — half of them a hard no, saying they're "not at all likely" to take it. We asked the unvaccinated about how likely they'd be to take it in a number of scenarios:

  • The best prospect was a scenario in which they could get the vaccine at their regular doctor's office. But even then, 55% said they'd remain not at all likely and only 7% said they'd be "very likely" to do it. That leaves a combined 35% who are either somewhat likely or not very likely but haven't ruled it out.
  • The Biden administration's Olivia Rodrigo play won't reach a lot of the holdouts, according to these results: 70% said the endorsement of a celebrity or public figure they like is "not at all likely" to get them to take a shot, and just 4% said they'd be "very likely" to do it. But another combined 24% could be somewhat in play.
  • What if your boss gave you paid time off to get the shot? 63% said they'd still be not at all likely to do it, while 5% said they'd be very likely. Another 30% combined are potentially but not eagerly gettable.
  • Similar majorities said they’d be unmoved by community volunteers coming to the door to discuss the vaccine, the option to get a shot at work or a mobile clinic, or being lobbied by friends or family members.

The big picture: Overall, Americans' concerns are rising for activities like seeing family and friends outside the home, going to the grocery store or sports events or getting on a plane.

  • Those concerns had subsided as vaccines became widely available. But the numbers are creeping back up after recent reports of rising infection rates and the dangers of the Delta variant.
  • But this trend is being driven by the vaccinated. The unvaccinated are no more concerned than they were before, which wasn't much.

By the numbers: In contrast to unvaccinated Americans' resistance to getting a shot at all, most vaccinated Americans say they'd go a step farther by getting a booster shot under a wide variety of hypothetical conditions:

  • 85% if COVID-19 cases rise in the U.S.
  • 87% if public health officials recommend it.
  • 88% if there's a new virus variant spreading in the U.S. or if it's recommended annually like a flu shot.
  • 93% if your doctor recommends it.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted July 16-19 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,048 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.
  • The margin of sampling error for the 295 unvaccinated adults in the sample is ±5.8 percentage points.

Go deeper

Jul 18, 2021 - Health

Poll: Unvaccinated Americans least concerned about Delta variant

Nurse administers a COVID-19 dose in Los Angeles. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Americans who are not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all are much less concerned about the Delta variant than fully vaccinated Americans are, a new CBS poll indicates.

Why it matters: COVID-19 cases are once again rising across the U.S. as health officials become increasingly concerned about the Delta variant, which is significantly more infectious than the original strain and poses an acute threat to the unvaccinated.

Jul 19, 2021 - Health

"A pandemic of the unvaccinated"

Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths are back on the rise in the U.S. as the highly transmissible Delta variant spreads across the country.

The big picture: This is happening almost exclusively to people who aren’t vaccinated, and it’s worse in places where overall vaccination rates are low.

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