U.S. Says Only 7% of Adults Have Gotten New COVID Shot

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Oct. 27, 2023 – Only 7.1% of adults and 2.1% of children in the United States have gotten the new version of the COVID-19 vaccine since it was authorized in mid-September, a CDC committee was told on Thursday.

The figures were drawn from a survey of about 14,000 Americans conducted Oct. 8 to 14, according to a PowerPoint presentation of the meeting. 

Adults were more likely to get the vaccine if they were older, insured, and with higher incomes, the presentation said. The survey said 24.6% of adults surveyed said they will definitely get vaccinated and 37.6% said they probably or definitely will not get vaccinated.

About a quarter of children have a parent who said they definitely will get their child vaccinated, while 2 in 5 children have a parent that said they probably or definitely will not get their child vaccinated, the presentation showed. (The vaccine is recommended for all children over 6 months.)

Medical experts were dismayed at the low number of people getting vaccinated. Camille Kotton, MD, of Harvard Medical School called the numbers “abysmal” and said patient confusion may be a factor, The Associated Press reported. She called for improved public education campaigns.

The new vaccine is designed to target currently circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID. The vaccine replaces bivalent visions that targeted the original COVID strain and earlier versions of Omicron.

The FDA said the new vaccine is “formulated to more closely target currently circulating variants and to provide better protection against serious consequences of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death."