As the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, variants of the disease also continue to emerge. Many of these new variants are more contagious than their predecessors are and have added a new urgency to vaccine distribution.
The Biden administration’s ambitious plan to vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer faces multiple challenges, not all of them are related to distribution or production. According to a recent survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, 44,970,000 Americans (18% of the 18 and older population) say they will probably or will definitely not agree to receive the vaccination when given the opportunity.
The share of eligible residents who likely will refuse vaccination varies considerably nationwide, from as many as 32.8% of the adult population to as little as 8.4%, depending on the state. States with the largest share of adults open to taking the vaccine are concentrated in the Northeast.
Most Americans who are against personally taking the vaccine cite one of three reasons: they are concerned about possible side effects, they want to wait to see if it is safe or they think that others would benefit more than they would from a vaccination. Others cite different reasons.
Nationwide, 19,860,000 people, 8.0% of the eligible population, do not trust the COVID-19 vaccines, and another 8,530,000, or 3.4%, do not trust vaccines in general. Additionally, 17,660,000 American adults (7.1% of those eligible) likely will refuse a vaccination because they do not trust the government.
Meanwhile, the virus continues to spread. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 29,130,219 confirmed cases of the virus and 525,560 Americans have died as a result.
So far, 8.4% of the total population have received the full course of vaccinations necessary to protect against COVID-19.
All survey data used in this story was published by the U.S. Census Bureau on Feb. 24, 2021. All data related to COVID-19 infections, fatalities and vaccinations is current as of Feb. 28, 2021.
Wyoming is the state where the most people likely or definitely will refuse vaccination:
- Adults likely or definitely refusing vaccination: 142,019 (32.8% of total)
- Adults likely or definitely being vaccinated: 194,004 (44.8% of total)
- Adults fully vaccinated: 55,305 (12.8% of total)
- Confirmed COVID-19 cases to date: 9,415 per 100,000 people (total: 54,394)
- COVID-19-related fatalities to date: 116 per 100,000 people (total: 671)