Key Findings

With news that Moderna has asked the FDA to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for young children, the latest KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor survey finds that about one in five parents of children under age 5 (18%) are eager to get their child vaccinated right away, while a larger share (38%) say they plan to wait a while to see how the vaccine is working for others. About four in ten parents of children under 5 are more reluctant to get their child vaccinated with 27% saying they will “definitely not” get their child vaccinated and 11% saying they will only do so if they are required. Just over half of parents of children in this age range say they do not have enough information about the vaccines’ safety and effectiveness for children under age 5.
With mask mandates being lifted in many places, most workers say they and their coworkers are not regularly wearing masks when indoors at work. Just under four in ten (38%) of those who work outside their home say they wore a mask every time or most of the time when indoors at their place of work in the past 30 days, and 43% say they never wore a mask at work in the past 30 days. Black workers (64%), Hispanic workers (52%), and those with lower incomes (61%) are more likely than their counterparts to report wearing masks at work at least most of the time.
Most workers (88%) say they feel at least “somewhat safe” from COVID-19 in the workplace. However, Black and Hispanic workers and those with lower incomes are less likely than their counterparts to say they feel “very safe” from COVID-19 at work.
While most parents (84%) feel their child is at least “somewhat safe” from COVID-19 at school, parents who are Black or Hispanic are less likely to feel their child is “very safe” than White parents (33% vs. 52%). Fewer than two in ten parents overall now say their child’s school has a mask requirement in place, down from seven in ten last September. Notably, Black and Hispanic parents are almost three times as likely as White parents to say their child usually wears a mask at school.
Uptake of both COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses appears to have leveled off, with three-quarters of adults reporting that they’ve received at least one dose of a vaccine (relatively unchanged since September 2021) and close to half reporting at least one booster dose (the same share as in February). While previous Vaccine Monitor surveys indicated that Black and Hispanic adults were lagging behind White adults in booster uptake, the latest survey finds that similar shares of Black, Hispanic, and White adults now report receiving a booster.
Prospects for further booster uptake are mixed, with half of those who are vaccinated but not boosted saying they will “definitely not” get a booster or get one only if required, and most of the eligible but unboosted population saying they feel they have sufficient protection from their initial vaccination or a prior infection.
With case rates beginning to rise again in the U.S., around a third of the public think there’s currently a new wave of COVID-19 hitting the country, while half say there is not a new wave, and the remainder are not sure. People’s perceptions about whether the country is experiencing a new wave of COVID-19 infections seem to reflect their view of what is happening among their own family and friends, with around six in ten reporting that among people they know, they’ve seen fewer COVID-19 cases in the past 30 days.
While most adults say their families and their employers are very prepared for future COVID-19 surges, fewer say the same about their local area or about the country overall. At the same time, when it comes to information about COVID-19 vaccines, people continue to trust personal sources like their own doctors and employers more than official sources like the CDC, FDA, or state governments. Trust in the CDC, FDA, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and President Biden as sources of reliable information on COVID-19 vaccines has declined since last summer, particularly among Republicans.

Parents’ Vaccination Intentions for Their Children

Though the FDA has still not authorized any COVID-19 vaccine for young children, Moderna recently announced that it has asked the FDA to authorize its vaccine for children under 6. Fielded prior to the Moderna announcement, the latest KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor survey finds that one in five parents of children under 5 (18%) are eager to vaccinate their child and say they will do so right away once a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for their age group. Almost four in ten parents of children under 5 say they want to “wait and see” before getting their young child vaccinated (38%). Another four in ten parents are more reluctant to get their young child vaccinated with 11% saying they will only do so if they are required and 27% saying they will “definitely not” get their child under 5 vaccinated for COVID-19.

Among parents of 5 to 11 year-olds, who have been eligible for vaccination since October, about four in ten (39%) say their child has gotten vaccinated while a large share say they will either only get their child vaccinated if they are required for school (12%) or say their child will definitely not get the COVID-19 vaccine (32%). Most parents of 12 to 17 year-olds say their teenager has been vaccinated (56%, fairly steady since January), while about three in ten (31%) say they will “definitely not” get their teen vaccinated and 4% say they will only do so if they are required.

Lack of available information may be a factor in parents’ reluctance to get their youngest children vaccinated right away. A majority of parents of children under five say they don’t have enough information about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines for children in this age group (56%). By contrast, most parents of older children feel better informed, with three-fourths of parents of teens and two-thirds of parents of kids ages 5-11 saying they have enough information about vaccine safety and effectiveness for their age group.

Moderna’s application for emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine in young children comes on the heels of a previous delay by the FDA, which announced in February that it was waiting for more data on the effectiveness of a third dose before evaluating the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for this age group. Most parents of young children (64%) say the FDA’s delay in granting emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine for children under five has not affected their confidence in the safety of the vaccines for this age group. About one-fifth (22%) parents say the delay has made them “more confident” in the vaccine’s safety for young children, while around one in eight (13%) say it has made them “less confident.”

COVID-19 And The Workplace

As many employees are returning to their offices or workplaces, and COVID-19 restrictions such as mask requirements are being lifted from restaurants, retail stores, and other venues, most workers say they feel at least somewhat safe from COVID-19 in their workplace. However, Black and Hispanic workers as well as those with lower incomes are less likely than their counterparts to report feeling “very safe” when they go to work.

Most workers with jobs outside the home say they feel at least somewhat safe from COVID-19 when they are at work, including over half who say they feel “very safe” (55%) and a third who feel “somewhat safe.”  Around one in ten say they feel “not too safe” (9%) or “not safe at all” (4%).

White workers are twice as likely as Black workers to say they feel “very safe” from COVID-19 when working outside the home (63% vs. 31%), with smaller shares of Hispanic workers (48%) than White workers saying they feel “very safe.” Across income groups, a majority of those with household incomes of $40,000 or more say they feel “very safe” (57%) compared to about four in ten (41%) of those with incomes of under $40,000 who say the same. Unvaccinated workers also report feeling “very safe” at work outside their house (71%) at higher rates than vaccinated workers (48%), likely due to difference in perceptions of COVID-19 as a risk.

Vaccine Mandates In The Workplace

In January, following the Supreme Court’s ruling that blocked the policy, the Biden Administration withdrew its requirement for large employers to have workers get vaccinated for COVID-19 or be tested regularly. However, some workplaces have continued to mandate vaccines in the absence of federal policy. We find that four in ten workers say their employer is requiring on-site workers to be vaccinated for COVID-19, up from 29% in November 2021. This includes 9% of all workers who say their employer is requiring employees to have a COVID-19 booster in addition to their initial dose.

Among workers whose employer does not require on-site workers to be vaccinated for COVID-19, most (78%, or 45% of all workers) say they do not want their employer to have a vaccination requirement, while 20% of those without a requirement (11% of all workers) say they want their employer to require vaccination.

Majorities Black workers and Hispanic workers say they either have a vaccination requirement at work (45% of Black workers, 47% of Hispanic workers) or want their employer to add one (13% of Black workers, 10% of Hispanic workers), while around half of White employees (49%) don’t currently have a vaccine requirement and do not want a requirement. Among partisans, about two-thirds of Democrats and over half of independents either say their employer requires vaccines or they want their employer to require vaccines, while about seven in ten Republicans (69%) say they are not currently subject to such a requirement and do not want their employer to put one in place.

Mask Usage In The Workplace

With mask mandates being lifted in many places, most workers say they and their coworkers are not regularly wearing masks at work. About one-quarter (24%) of those who work at least partially outside their home say they have worn a mask “every time” when indoors at work in the past 30 days, with another 14% reporting they wore a mask most of the time. About one in five workers (19%) say they wore a mask “some of the time” when indoors at work in the past 30 days, while 43% say they have “never” worn a mask indoors at work in the past 30 days. Three in ten say “all” or “most” of their coworkers regularly wear masks at work while 16% say some of their coworkers regularly wear a mask. About half of employees say “very few” (27%) or “none” (26%) of their coworkers regularly wear a mask at work.

Black workers and Hispanic workers, as well as workers with lower incomes, are more likely than others to say they and their coworkers are regularly wearing masks at work. For example, workers with household incomes of $40,000 or less are more than twice as likely as those with incomes of $90,000 or more to say they mostly wear masks at work (61% vs. 27%) and to say that most of their coworkers do (50% vs. 22%). Further, nearly two-thirds of Black workers (64%) and half of Hispanic workers (52%) say they wear a mask at work at least most of the time compared to three in ten White employees (31%).

There are partisan differences as well, with workers who identify as Democrats more than three times as likely as those who identify as Republicans to report wearing a mask at work (51% vs. 16%). And despite being at a higher risk for catching and spreading the virus, a smaller share of unvaccinated than vaccinated adults report regularly wearing a mask in the workplace (20% vs. 45%) or say most of their coworkers wear one (17% vs. 34%).

COVID-19 And Schools

Though COVID-19 cases are again on the rise and some schools are reporting outbreaks among students and staff following spring break, most parents feel their children are at least “somewhat safe” from COVID-19 at school, and most feel their school is “doing about the right amount” to keep children safe.

Nearly half of parents with a child in school think their child is “very safe” (44%) from the risk of exposure to COVID-19 when they are at school and an additional 40% think their child is “somewhat safe”. However, parents who are Black or Hispanic are less likely than White parents to say they feel their child is “very safe” from COVID-19 when they are at school. Similarly, vaccinated parents are much less likely than unvaccinated parents to say they think their child is “very safe” (36% vs. 59%).

Additionally, seven in ten parents with a child enrolled in school say their child’s school is doing “about the right amount” to protect kids from COVID-19 at school. One in ten (11%) say their child’s school is doing “too much” while 18% feel their child’s school is “not doing enough” to protect kids from COVID-19 at school. There were no measured differences on how Black, Hispanic, and White parents assessed the job their child’s school is doing.

The February KFF Vaccine Monitor, following the peak of an omicron wave of COVID-19 cases, found that parents were largely divided on whether schools should have mask requirements for students and staff. The current Monitor finds that there has been a large shift in mask requirements in schools since the beginning of the school year. Three-quarters of parents now say they their child’s school does not have a mask requirement, compared to September 2021 when seven in ten parents (69%) said their child’s school required all students and staff to wear masks.

About four in ten parents (41%) indicate their child regularly wears a mask at school – either because their school requires it or because it is something they do voluntarily. One in four (24%) say that all or most students in their child’s school are either subject to a mask requirement or wear masks regularly. Parents who are Black or Hispanic are more than twice as likely as White parents to say their child usually wears a mask (70% vs. 26%) and five times as likely to say that most other students at their child’s school wear masks (9% vs. 47%).

Trends In COVID-19 Vaccination Intentions And Uptake

The latest KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor survey finds that three in four adults (75%) say they have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, a share that continues to hold relatively steady since September 2021. A quarter of adults remain unvaccinated, including about one in six (17%) who say they definitely will not get the vaccine, a share that has not changed substantially in nearly 18 months of polling.

When it comes to demographic uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine, Democrats (92%), adults 65 and older (88%), college graduates (86%), and those with a serious health condition (85%) continue to report the highest rates of being vaccinated. Republicans (55%), those under age 65 without health insurance (56%), and White Evangelical Christians (57%) are among those with the lowest vaccination rates.

Booster Doses Uptake And Intentions

COVID-19 vaccine booster uptake has also slowed considerably. About half of all adults (47%) now report they have received a booster dose, the same share who said so in February. One in four adults (26%) report being vaccinated for COVID-19 but have not gotten a booster, while a quarter (25%) say they are unvaccinated. Booster uptake differs substantially by age, with the highest rate of being boosted among adults 65 and older, who are more at risk for COVID-19 complications (70%). There is also a large gap by partisanship, with Democrats more than twice as likely as Republicans to report being vaccinated and boosted (68% vs. 31%).

Previous Vaccine Monitor surveys identified a potential racial gap in COVID-19 booster uptake, with White adults appearing to outpace Black and Hispanic adults in the share who reported being boosted. The latest survey finds that similar shares of Black, Hispanic, and White adults now report receiving a booster, whether looked at as a share of the total population or among those likely to be eligible for a booster.

Notably, though younger adults continue to lag older adults and Republicans lag Democrats in the share who say they have gotten a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, among those likely eligible for a booster, majorities across age groups, racial and ethnic groups, and party identification say they have received a booster dose.

Among vaccinated adults who have not yet received a booster dose, half say they will only get it “if required” (27%) or say they will “definitely not” get a booster (23%). Three in ten (30%) say they plan to get an additional dose “as soon as they can,” while 18% say they want to “wait to see” before getting a booster dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine. Four in ten vaccinated Hispanic adults who have not yet gotten a booster say they want to get one “as soon as they can”, compared to 22% of vaccinated but not yet boosted White adults who say the same. Around three in ten (29%) vaccinated but not yet boosted Black adults say they’ll get a booster dose as soon as they can. Notably, about three in ten vaccinated White adults who are not yet boosted say they will “definitely not” get a booster dose (29%) and a further 29% say they will only do so if they are required.

Reasons Why Some Vaccinated Adults Have Not Gotten A Booster

Adults who are eligible for a COVID-19 booster but have not yet received one cite a variety of reasons for not getting a booster. Chief among them is the view that they already have enough protection from either their initial vaccine doses or from a previous COVID-19 infection (56%). Other common reasons these booster-eligible adults say they have not yet gotten a booster include just not wanting to get it (45%), thinking boosters are ineffective because some vaccinated people are still getting infected (39%), and being too busy to go get the shot (33%). About three in ten cite not trusting the government or medical system (29%) or not believing the COVID-19 vaccines are safe (28%) as reasons for not getting a booster. Fewer cite other reasons like side effects from a previous dose (18%), they don’t like getting shots (15%), worries about missing work (8%), difficulties traveling to a vaccination site (7%), or worries about having to pay out of pocket (4%).

Perceptions Of Current Case Rates And Preparation For Future Waves

As COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise, a little more than a third (35%) of adults think there is a new wave of COVID-19 infections hitting the country. Half of adults say there is not a new wave of COVID-19 infections hitting the U.S. now and 14% are unsure if the country is in the midst of a new wave.

There are stark differences in partisan perceptions of the current state of COVID-19 infections as a slight majority of Democrats (53%) think that there is a new wave right now in the U.S., while seven in ten Republicans think there is not. Notably, almost three-quarters of unvaccinated adults (73%) do not think there is a new wave of COVID-19 infections in the U.S., consistent with prior surveys finding that unvaccinated adults tend to view the virus as less of a risk compared to those who are vaccinated.

People’s perceptions about whether the country is experiencing a new wave of COVID-19 infections seem to reflect their view of what is happening among their own family and friends. Around six in ten adults say that among the people they know, they have seen fewer COVID-19 cases in the past 30 days (62%) while two in ten say they have seen about the same number of cases (21%). Fewer than one in ten (6%) say they have seen more cases in the past 30 days among people they know. Additionally, around half of adults (51%) say that the people they know who have been infected with COVID-19 in the past 30 days are experiencing less severe symptoms than those infected in previous waves.

Preparedness For Future COVID-19 Waves

With a new omicron subvariant continuing to spread, six in ten adults (61%) say that they and their families are very prepared for any future rise of cases due to a new variant, and around two-thirds of employed adults say their workplace is very prepared (66%). Slightly less than half of parents (45%) say their child’s school is very prepared for a rise in COVID-19 cases due to new variants. However, around a third report that their local area more generally is very prepared for a rise in COVID-19 cases (36%).

In contrast to views of their personal level of preparation, fewer adults think the U.S. as a country is very prepared to deal with any future rise in cases due to a new variant of COVID-19. A quarter of adults say that the U.S. is very prepared to deal with any future rise in cases due to a new variant (25%), with 44% saying the country is somewhat prepared, and a quarter saying it is not too prepared (15%) or not prepared at all (11%).

Black and Hispanic adults and those with lower household incomes are less likely to say that they, their family, and their workplace are very prepared to deal with future COVID-19 cases. A larger share of White adults says they and their family are very prepared with any future rise in cases (65%) compared to Black (52%) and Hispanic adults (46%). In addition, larger shares of those with higher incomes say they and their family are very prepared (72% of those with a household income of $90,000 or more a year, compared to 55% of those with an income of less than $90,000). Similarly, White workers are more likely to say their workplace is very prepared (71%) than Black (48%) or Hispanic workers (56%).

Trust In COVID-19 Vaccine Information

When asked who people trust to provide reliable information about the COVID-19 vaccines, people’s own doctors, including pediatricians top the list, with 85% of adults saying they trust their personal doctor “a great deal” or “a fair amount.” Similarly, 83% of parents say they trust their child’s pediatrician to provide them with reliable information about the COVID-19 vaccines. Majorities of workers trust their employer (77%), insured adults trust their health insurance company (73%), and majorities trust their local public health department (68%) for this information. About two-thirds trust COVID-19 vaccine information from the CDC (64%) or the FDA (62%) and about half of adults trust their state government officials (54%), Dr. Anthony Fauci (53%), and President Joe Biden (49%).

With the exception of their own employers, there are stark partisan differences in trust with Republicans being less likely than Democrats to trust each of the other sources of COVID-19 vaccine information asked about in the survey. Indeed, Republicans are particularly less likely than their Democratic counterparts to trust federal and institutional sources of information.

The share who says they trust President Biden, the FDA, the CDC, and Dr. Fauci to provide reliable information on COVID-19 vaccines has declined since December 2020. Despite some criticism of how the FDA and CDC have handled vaccine rollout and messaging, trust among Democrats has remained high. However, among Republicans, the share who say they trust the FDA fell from a majority (62%) to about four in ten (43%). Similarly, the share of Republicans who trust the CDC at least a fair amount fell from a majority in December (57%) to four in ten (41%). The share of Republicans who trust Dr. Fauci for such information fell by roughly half between December 2020 and now, from 47% to 25%. In addition, trust in President Biden, already low among Republicans in December when he was President-elect, sank even further.

The recent downward movement in Republicans’ level of trust in the CDC and Dr. Fauci on coronavirus is a continuation of a trend that began earlier in the pandemic. In April 2020, under a different Administration, large shares of both Democrats and Republicans said they had at least a fair amount of trust in the CDC and in Dr. Anthony Fauci to provide reliable information about coronavirus in general. By September 2020, the shares of Republicans who said they trusted both fell by more than 25 percentage points each. This trend has continued as the question shifted to ask about sources of information on COVID-19 vaccines.

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