The survey, conducted by telephone from January 21 to 24 with more than eight hundred adults in the United States, further revealed that half of the public plans to get the potentially life-saving vaccine as soon as they are allowed.
Those individuals who are willing to be at the front of the line represent a majority of adults when combined with the 6 percent who have reported already receiving the vaccine. Another 19 percent say they would prefer to let others get vaccinated first and see how it goes.
As for political affiliations, Democrats are the most eager to get inoculated—72 percent when combined with those who already got the vaccine. On the other end of the scale, more than four in ten Republicans say they will avoid ever getting the vaccine if they can.
Demographically, 67 percent of those aged sixty-five and older want to get vaccinated as soon as possible, while 52 percent of younger adults feel the same way. Those under age sixty-five (27 percent) are found to be more likely than seniors (16 percent) to say they will never get a vaccine.
However, the differences become even more pronounced when filtered through the lens of political partisanship.
“The age-based gap in attitudes toward the vaccine is enormous among Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP, but it virtually disappears among Democrats and Democratic leaners,” the poll wrote.
“Specifically, 63 percent of Republican identifiers aged sixty-five and older have received or want to be first in line for the vaccine while just 18 percent say they will avoid getting it. Among Republicans under sixty-five years old, only 33 percent are willing to line up for the vaccine right away, while nearly half never want to get it.”
The poll revealed that among those who identify as Democrats, there are no significant age-based differences for willingness to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
“Reluctance to get the vaccine is driven more by partisanship than any single demographic factor. It says a lot about the depth of our partisan divide that it could impact public health like this,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement.
In addition, President Joe Biden received mostly favorable reviews for his initial handling of the pandemic, with 58 percent saying he has done a good job and 23 percent saying he has done a bad job.
Former President Donald Trump, however, left office with a largely negative rating for his handling of the health outbreak. When surveyed, 34 percent said Trump did a good job and 63 percent said he did a bad job.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.