NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll: COVID, September 3, 2021

Number of COVID Vaccine Refusers Declining… Most Vaxxed Americans Will Take Booster

The number of Americans saying they have gotten or will get a COVID vaccine (79%) has jumped five percentage points from last month. Those indicating they will not get the shot has dropped from 24% to 19% over the same time frame. And most fully vaccinated Americans (81%) say they will get a booster shot if made available.

Vaccination Progress
If a vaccine for the coronavirus is made available to you, will you choose to be vaccinated or not? If you have already received the vaccine, please say so.
Source: NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll National Adults. Interviews conducted August 26th through August 31st, 2021, n=1,241 MOE +/- 3.8 percentage points.
  • Republicans (37%) continue to be those most likely to say they will not get the vaccine, and that number statistically is little changed from last month (39%). Just 5% of Democrats and 17% of independents say they will refuse the shot.

  • Support for a booster is strong: 81% of fully vaccinated Americans say they will, or have already gotten, a booster shot. 19% say they will not or are unsure.

  • Support for employer vaccine mandates has flipped. Half of Americans (50%) support employers requiring employees to get vaccinated in order to work in person while 44% do not. In our July poll, 44% supported these mandates and 50% did not.

  • There’s a wide partisan split on the issue of employer vaccine mandates. 82% of Democrats support them, while just 19% of Republicans feel the same. Independents divide. 45% support them and 47% do not.

  • As for schools requiring masks for students and staff, 65% of Americans support it. This includes 91% of Democrats, 32% of Republicans, and 66% of independents. Although a majority (54%) of parents of school-aged children support mask mandates in schools, 44% oppose the requirement.

A majority of Americans support a national mandate requiring indoor masking in public spaces (56%), including 86% of Democrats, 26% of Republicans, and 54% of independents.

A majority of Americans (53%) believe getting vaccinated is “everyone’s responsibility to protect the health of others,” while 43% say it’s a “personal choice.”

“After months of what looked like a vaccination plateau, the number of Americans getting the shot has jumped," says Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist Poll. “It’s also promising that most of those already vaccinated say they’ll get a booster when one is available to them.”

Americans’ behaviors as a result of COVID have changed little since our July poll, although there is some indication that, in certain instances, there is greater caution. When asked if they are ready or currently doing specific activities, 48% are boarding trains, planes, or shared transport; 44% are attending religious services; 36% are attending live events; and 30% are going to bars including nearly half (49%) of adults 40 and younger. 88% of parents are sending their school-age children to in-person classes. However, fewer Americans are dining out now (72%) compared with July (78%) or visiting friends and family even if unvaccinated (66%) than previously (75%).

Biden Approval on COVID and Economy

Support for President Joe Biden’s handling of the coronavirus (55%) dropped nine percentage points from our July poll (64%).

On his handling of the economy, support for the president has also slipped. In this poll, Americans split 48% to 48% on Biden’s handling of the economy. In July, 50% approved and 45% disapproved.

The president’s overall approval rating stands at 43%, down from 49% last month.