Oct. 2, 2022 -- Americans are not showing great enthusiasm for the new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine – if they’ve even heard about it, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey says.

About two-third of respondents say they’re not getting the booster vaccine anytime soon, if at all. Twelve percent said they “definitely” would not get the updated booster, 10% said they’d only get it if required, and 18% said they’d wait and see, the survey showed. Twenty-seven percent said they were not eligible to get the booster vaccine because they are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

About a third of respondents had a favorable response, with 5% saying they’d gotten the booster and 27% saying they’d get it as soon as possible. 

About half the survey respondents said they had little or no knowledge about the COVID-19 booster vaccine. 

The survey showed 20% of respondents had heard “nothing at all” about the booster and 31% had heard “a little.” About 33% had heard “some” about the booster and 17% had heard “a lot.”

“America is not rushing out to get the new booster,” KFF President Drew Altman told The New York Times. “Most are only dimly aware of it, which is not surprising in a country that seems to have mostly moved on.”  

The foundation questioned a nationally representative sample of 1,534 adults by phone and online Sept. 15-26.

Older people, the most vulnerable demographic, showed more enthusiasm for the booster, with 8% of people over 65 saying they’ve gotten the booster and 37% planning to get it as soon as possible, the KFF survey showed. Twenty-two percent of those over 65 will wait and see, 6% will get the booster if necessary, and 11% definitely will not get the updated vaccine. 

The new booster became available in early September. The CDC recommends fully vaccinated people over age 12 get it.  The booster was redesigned to protect against the currently circulating subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of the Omicron strain. 

About 7.6 million people have gotten the bivalent booster, according to recent data from the CDC. That’s about 3.5% of the eligible population, Reuters reported.

Show Sources

Kaiser Family Foundation: “KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: September 2022.”

The New York Times: “Half of Adults Have Heard Little or Nothing About New Covid Boosters, Survey Finds.”

Reuters: “Two thirds of U.S. adults don't plan on getting COVID boosters soon -poll.”

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