Poll: Unvaccinated Americans least concerned about Delta variant

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Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated Americans, the groups most vulnerable to Covid, are the least concerned about the more contagious Delta variant, according to a CBS News poll.

While 48 percent of “not fully/not vaccinated” respondents in the poll released Sunday said they were concerned about the Delta variant, 72 percent of fully vaccinated Americans are worried.

The United States is in a much better place in its battle with the pandemic as 68 percent of Americans have at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, leaving Americans less apprehensive about 2021 than they were in January, according to the poll. But the Delta variant has caused rising caseloads in all 50 states, predominantly among unvaccinated populations. Nearly all recent Covid deaths in the U.S. have been among those who were not vaccinated.

The U.S. reported 31,281 new cases, 22,080 hospitalizations and 272 deaths on Saturday, according to the New York Times Covid tracker. A large chunk of the new cases are coming from five states: Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri and Nevada.

President Joe Biden said Friday that the “only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated,” echoing comments made by Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among the unvaccinated polled by CBS, 53 percent said they don't want a shot because they are worried about the side effects. Fifty percent cited not trusting the government as one of their reasons, and 45 percent said they don't trust the science.

Overall, 66 percent of Americans gave Biden a strong mark for his handling of the pandemic. Fifty-two percent think the Biden administration's focus on vaccination efforts in the U.S. is “about right,” though 57 percent of Republicans said the president is doing “too much” in trying to urge Americans to get the shots.

The poll of 2,238 U.S. adults was conducted by YouGov from July 14-17. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

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