Nearly a third of US adults are undecided about the Covid-19 vaccine. Some say friends and family could sway them

Though officials and health experts say the end of the...

Posted: Feb 14, 2021 6:52 AM

Though officials and health experts say the end of the Covid-19 pandemic will rely on a large proportion of Americans being inoculated, nearly a third of US adults say they have not decided if they will get the vaccine when it is offered to them.

About 31% of adults say they plan to "wait and see" how it works out for other people -- and about two-thirds of that group say they may be persuaded to get one if they're convinced it would be highly effective in preventing illness, according to an analysis released Friday of a previous study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

"Wait and see" adults are "an important target for outreach and messaging" if the nation aims to increase the numbers of people willing to get the vaccine, but it is important to understand that their concerns vary, the foundation wrote.

Of the "wait and see" group, 61% said they'd be more likely to get vaccinated if they were persuaded that vaccinating most people would be the quickest way to return life to normal. About 51% said learning millions of people have been vaccinated safely also may push them, KFF said.

About 37% of the "wait and see" group said they would be more likely to get a vaccine if they learned a close friend or family member got vaccinated.

The analysis is a closer look at the foundation's report from January, which found 47% of Americans were willing to get vaccinated as soon as possible or already were vaccinated; 31% wanted to "wait and see"; 13% said they definitely wouldn't get vaccinated, and 7% would do so only if required.

Vaccinations increasing in the US

Vaccinations have been ramping up across the country as officials race to get most Americans inoculated by the end of summer, aiming for a return to normalcy while trying to get ahead of more-transmissible coronavirus variants.

To reach herd immunity, about 70% to 85% of Americans would need to be vaccinated, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease director Dr. Anthony Fauci has estimated.

Though many states have complained that their vaccine supply does not meet demand, the pace of inoculations has quickened in recent weeks.

The US has averaged nearly 1.7 million doses administered per day over the past week, higher than the daily average of about 1.3 million a week earlier, according to a CNN analysis of data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 37 million people in the US had received at least one dose of a vaccine as of early Saturday, and more than 13 million people have been fully vaccinated by receiving two doses, CDC data shows.

And more than 6,500 retail pharmacies around the country opened appointments Friday for doses that have been allocated under a federal program shipping doses directly to pharmacy chains. They've been given 1 million doses to start, with more to follow.

The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington said in its latest projection that ramping up vaccinations by early summer may prevent more than 100,000 deaths.

"We expect vaccination to reach 145 million adults by June 1 and that scale-up will prevent 114,000 deaths," IHME said in a statement.

However, spread of the B.1.1.7 virus variant first identified in the United Kingdom could slow or reduce declines in transmission, the institute said, noting that it factored expected spread of the variant into the projections.

Evidence the variant identified in the UK may cause more severe disease

An advisory group in the UK says it has more confidence that the variant first identified there is linked to more severe disease.

An analysis of more than 10 studies released Friday by the New and Emerging Respiratory Viral Threat Advisory Group bolstered the group's January report that linked the UK variant with severe disease.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky last week made reference to increasing data that the variant leads to more deaths.

The variant is also more contagious, and that alone could led to more deaths, experts have said.

At least 981 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant have been found in 37 states, according to the CDC. More than a third of those are in Florida, where it's estimated that 1 in 10 coronavirus cases may be due to the variant.

Nearly all US minors live in 'red' zones under CDC school guidance

While the CDC issued new guidance Friday on how K-12 schools can reopen safely during the pandemic, that same guidance suggests nearly every student lives in an area where the CDC wouldn't currently recommend full reopening.

About 99% of the US population under the age of 18 -- nearly 73 million minors -- live in what the CDC considers a "red" zone, or a county with high levels of virus transmission, according to a CNN analysis of federal data.

The CDC defines these high transmission counties as having at least 100 new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people, or a test-positivity rate of at least 10% during the last seven days.

Friday's CDC guidance on school reopenings says that middle schools and high schools in these zones should stick with virtual learning, and elementary schools in these zones should have hybrid learning or reduced attendance.

Fewer than 100,000 children in the US live in a county considered "low" or "moderate transmission" where the CDC recommends K-12 schools open for full in-person instruction. Most of those are in Hawaii or Washington.

The CNN analysis used the latest federal data on new case rates and test positivity rates, published Thursday by the US Health and Human Services Department, to determine each county's risk threshold according to CDC guidelines.

Otherwise, the CDC's new guidance on allowing in-person classes to resume focused on five key Covid-19 mitigation strategies.

Those five key strategies are: the universal and correct wearing of masks; physical distancing; washing hands; cleaning facilities and improving ventilation; and contact tracing, isolation and quarantine.

President Joe Biden has pledged to reopen most US K-12 schools within his first 100 days in office, though some teachers' unions have expressed concerns about reopening while many educators have yet to be vaccinated.

The CDC's guidance Friday says vaccination and testing "provide additional layers of Covid-19 prevention in schools," but it doesn't describe them as key strategies.

People with underlying health conditions eligible for vaccines in 11 states

A person's eligibility for vaccines varies by state -- and an increasing number are opening them to people with underlying health conditions.

People with certain comorbidities and underlying conditions are eligible to sign up for Covid-19 vaccinations in 11 states: New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Mexico, Virginia, Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Nebraska, and Montana, according to a CNN analysis of public health department websites.

The exact conditions that make someone eligible, and whether paperwork is required to confirm the conditions, vary by state.

Some of the 11 states have started vaccinating these groups, while others have only begun registering them.

At least one state will soon be added to that list: California announced Friday that millions of residents "at high risk with developmental and other disabilities" and those with "serious underlying health conditions" will become eligible next month.

The plan, outlined by state health officials in a briefing Friday, will begin March 15 and will allow cancer patients, pregnant women, and other disabled individuals to join health care workers, seniors, teachers, and farmworkers in line for a vaccine.

The expansion could add as many as 6 million Californians to the priority list. It also would broaden the ages from 65 and over to ages 16 to 64 in those categories.

But California Health and Human Service Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly cautioned that the expansion is dependent on the state resolving its shortfall of vaccines.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1367126

Reported Deaths: 24801
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook54734510147
DuPage908351288
Will75828993
Lake67459991
Kane58579778
Winnebago33393477
Madison30589520
McHenry28705288
St. Clair27915514
Peoria23202317
Champaign20710145
Sangamon18831234
McLean18236181
Tazewell16999291
Rock Island15041318
Kankakee14232210
Kendall1310594
LaSalle12589244
Macon10784200
DeKalb9912119
Vermilion9702132
Adams8476123
Williamson7446130
Whiteside7166172
Boone672074
Ogle612081
Grundy590176
Clinton576590
Coles569196
Knox5573150
Jackson503364
Henry501167
Livingston483385
Stephenson477183
Woodford476277
Effingham472972
Macoupin471583
Marion4472115
Franklin446375
Monroe435793
Jefferson4304120
Lee417453
Randolph413484
Fulton395557
Morgan390282
Logan389159
Montgomery373474
Bureau372782
Christian368673
Perry317960
Fayette317855
Iroquois302966
McDonough286747
Jersey269350
Douglas259035
Saline256654
Lawrence240625
Shelby229937
Union226240
Crawford212326
Bond205524
Cass199525
Jo Daviess181924
Clark180633
Warren180246
Pike179352
Ford179147
Wayne178053
Hancock176231
Carroll175636
Richland175240
Edgar170840
White169826
Washington164425
Moultrie161128
De Witt151725
Mason151645
Piatt150014
Clay148143
Mercer147533
Johnson144615
Greene144033
Massac134640
Wabash134612
Cumberland129019
Menard123712
Jasper115118
Marshall107418
Hamilton83615
Schuyler7607
Brown7106
Pulaski6867
Stark63824
Edwards56912
Henderson52414
Calhoun5182
Putnam4833
Scott4791
Alexander46811
Gallatin4604
Hardin38612
Pope3224
Out of IL20
Unassigned02356

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 735999

Reported Deaths: 13486
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1007151752
Lake54249977
Allen40946680
St. Joseph36335553
Hamilton35829408
Elkhart28844443
Tippecanoe22475219
Vanderburgh22367397
Porter18946311
Johnson18067381
Hendricks17317315
Clark13036192
Madison12762339
Vigo12501249
LaPorte12086215
Monroe11957172
Delaware10755187
Howard10001218
Kosciusko9466117
Hancock8373142
Bartholomew8098156
Warrick7799155
Floyd7690178
Grant7098174
Wayne7072199
Boone6745101
Morgan6611140
Dubois6166117
Marshall6111112
Cass5876105
Dearborn583178
Henry5785105
Noble565984
Jackson503773
Shelby494396
Lawrence4602120
Gibson437192
Harrison436672
DeKalb430585
Clinton428453
Montgomery425889
Whitley398739
Huntington394480
Steuben391057
Miami383968
Knox372890
Jasper372649
Putnam363760
Wabash355380
Adams342755
Ripley340770
Jefferson331881
White317754
Daviess298399
Wells292081
Decatur285992
Fayette282162
Greene280585
Posey272034
LaGrange268970
Scott267554
Clay261347
Washington242132
Randolph242081
Spencer232931
Jennings230949
Starke219354
Fountain213946
Sullivan212242
Owen203356
Jay197830
Fulton196040
Carroll190420
Orange184754
Perry184637
Rush174025
Vermillion170044
Franklin168535
Tipton163445
Parke146716
Pike135634
Blackford135132
Pulaski117445
Newton108934
Brown102641
Crawford101415
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82615
Switzerland7948
Union71410
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417