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What a difference two months makes.

A rising number of Americans are expressing grave concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, a threat that earlier this summer appeared to be subsiding throughout the U.S. With the highly contagious Delta variant now surging nationwide, 46 percent of respondents surveyed by Civis Analytics reveal they are “very concerned” about the virus, up from 35 percent at the beginning of June 2021 (see below).

COVID concern continues to climb; a line chart depicting the share of vaccinated and unvaccinated respondents who are "very concerned" about coronavirus.

Fifty-two percent of fully- and partially-vaccinated Americans voice serious concern about COVID’s continued spread, compared to 40 percent in June, when the number of new cases across the U.S. plummeted to fewer than 20,000 per day from a peak of 300,000 daily in January 2021. In fact, back in mid-June, concern among vaccinated Americans was nearly equal to that of their unvaccinated counterparts.

Civis’s findings follow on the heels of reports that COVID concerns are driving recent consumer spending declines in key categories like retail shopping, restaurant dining, and travel. “Softness in activity appears to be driven by renewed virus fears — 53 percent of adults now ascribe at least moderate health risk to ‘normal’ activities (versus 28 percent in June) — and the decline in spending partly reflects a slowdown in some virus-sensitive services,” Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius said in mid-August.

The good news is that COVID vaccinations are making a comeback. White House data released Aug. 19 reveals that more than one million doses were administered in the previous 24 hours, including half a million people receiving their first dose, marking the first time in close to seven weeks that at least a million doses were administered within a 24-hour period. (Vaccinations reached their peak in mid-April, climbing to about 3.3 million doses per day.)

No less promising, Louisiana and Oklahoma — states that once lagged in vaccinations — are now outpacing the national average. “We’re seeing a new willingness, a new openness to getting vaccinated,” White House COVID-19 Response Team Chief of Staff Asma Mirza recently said.

Civis will continue to monitor and survey U.S. vaccination acceptance and trends. For more information, or to obtain survey insights into the trends impacting your organization, email