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Civis Analytics fielded a survey with 4,271 national respondents on October 13–16, 2021. Below are some key takeaways from this wave’s research.

National Highlights

COVID-19 Concern

Nationally, concern about Coronavirus continues to decrease slightly compared to our last wave of research in September. 33.1% of adults report being ‘very concerned’ about COVID-19, compared to 35.0% in September. With regard to the global state of the pandemic, 31.9% of US adults say they are ‘very concerned’ about the current situation in other countries, down from 36.2% in September. 79.2% of US adults report having heard of Coronavirus variants or strains (e.g. Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta), with 36.8% reporting being ‘very concerned’ about the variants, down from our last wave of research by 6.6%.

Attitudes Concern Level in the U.S.

How concerned are you about Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Nationally, reported levels of concern about COVID-19 have remained high in the past few months since a relative low in June.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine

Nationally, 66.9% of adults report that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is almost exactly the same as our last wave of research in September (66.6%). 89.2% of US adults who have received at least one dose report having also received a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 88.4% in September. Among US adults who have not yet been vaccinated, 21.2% say they are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to get vaccinated for COVID-19, while 60.9% say they are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat unlikely’, and 18.0% are not sure.  Of those that say they are not very likely to get the vaccine, the top three reasons that would make them more likely to get the vaccine are: ‘If I knew it would help protect me from getting COVID-19’ (21.8%), ‘If I knew that it was part of helping end the pandemic’ (16.3%), and ‘If it was required by my employer or the government’ (13.4%).  

57.6% of US adults who’ve received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine report that they would be ‘very likely’ to get a COVID-19 booster shot, assuming the FDA had authorized it, compared to 61.1% in September. 24.8% of US adults are ‘very concerned’ about the protection of the COVID-19 vaccine wearing off.  9.8% believe it will wear off in one month, 10.7% in three months, 26.4% in six months, 27.4% in one year, and 25.8% believe it will wear off in more than one year.  

How concerned are you about the protection of the COVID-19 vaccine wearing off?

US Margin of Error = 2.2%

Response (% selected) US
Very concerned24.8%
Somewhat concerned30.5%
Slightly concerned20.7% 
Not at all concerned24.0% 

Protective Measures

Over the past few months, some states and jurisdictions have returned to mask mandates and social distancing measures following an increase in COVID-19 cases. 54.9% of US adults report always wearing a mask indoors, and 45.0% report always staying 6 feet apart from others while indoors. 38.4% of US adults report always staying home and limiting trips to essentials, 38.7% report only gathering in small groups when socializing, and 31.8% report getting tested for Coronavirus when experiencing symptoms or planning to travel. Of US adults who report ‘always’ wearing a mask indoors, 53.3% say they do so because they ‘want to help protect others who have health issues or cannot be vaccinated’, 50.9% report they ‘don’t trust that others are vaccinated or safe to be around unmasked’, and 42.7% report they wear masks indoors because ‘It is required in the public places [they] go to’.

COVID-19 Vaccines and Testing for Children

Parents or guardians of children 18 years old or younger differ in their plans to vaccinate their child(ren) against COVID-19 across varying age groups of children, but the majority of US parents report having vaccinated or planning to vaccinate their child(ren) against the Coronavirus. Everyone over the age of 12 in all 50 states is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Among US parents, 51.1% of those with children 0 to 6 months old and 57.2% of those with children 6 months to 11 years old report being ‘very’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to get those child(ren) vaccinated when it is available – compared to 47.9% (0 to 6 months) and 56.0% (6 months to 11 years) in September.  60.5% of US parents with 12- to 15-year-olds report that those child(ren) have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 57.6% in September. Of US parents with 12-to 15-year-olds who haven’t received the vaccine yet, 30.4% say they are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to get their child(ren) in that age group vaccinated. 66.0% of US parents with 16- to 18-year-olds report that those child(ren) have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 66.5% in September. Of US parents with 16- to 18-year-olds who haven’t received the vaccine yet, 32.0% say they are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to get their child(ren) in that age group vaccinated. For children of all age groups, side effects and safety concerns are most commonly selected as reasons why parents are ‘not sure’ or ‘unlikely’ to get their child(ren) vaccinated.  Compared to parents of children in other age groups, parents with 12-to-15 year olds reported government, employment, school, or daycare vaccine requirements were a relatively strong motivator (21.2%) of getting that age group vaccinated.  

Parents or guardians of children 18 years old or younger have similar reported levels of using COVID-19 testing across age groups. In the last 30 days, 22.6% of parents with child(ren) ages 0 to 6 months old report getting their child(ren) tested for COVID-19, compared to 29.9% with child(ren) ages 6 months to 11 years old, 31.9% 12 to 15 years old, and 34.0% 16 to 18 years old. 

Vaccine Mandates

The school year is underway for most primary and secondary schools. 56.5% of US adults with child(ren) who are currently enrolled in primary or secondary school report being ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ in favor of schools mandating COVID-19 vaccination for eligible age groups in order to return to in person classes this fall, similar to 55.5% in September. When asked if their child(ren)’s primary or secondary schools are mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for eligible age groups, 29.0% of elementary school parents report that one or more of their child(ren)’s schools are mandating the vaccine, similar to 26.5% for middle school parents and 28.4% for high school parents.  

Children Vaccine Required Opinion in the U.S.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: K12 schools should mandate the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine for students in eligible age groups.

Nationally, opinions about COVID-19 vaccine mandates in schools have remained steady over the past few months.

Among US parents with child(ren) enrolled in primary or secondary school, 46.0% report their school is mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for teachers, while 25.3% are not sure. 47.0% of US parents with child(ren) enrolled in primary or secondary school report that students, teachers, or other staff at their child(ren)’s school(s) have tested positive in the last 30 days, while 17.9% are not sure. 

Most American colleges have also started their school year. Of college students and college students’ parents, 72.7% indicate that they ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat agree’ that colleges should mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for students prior to enrolling in classes. 50.3% of US college students or parents of college students report that the college they or their child is attending this fall requires that students receive the COVID-19 vaccine, 31.6% report no mandate, and 18.1% are not sure if the vaccine is required.

18.9% of US adults report recently becoming unemployed or furloughed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, on par with 18.1% in our last wave of research in September. 31.1% of US adults who are not currently working report not currently being in the workforce (e.g. student, retired), and 20.3% report being unable to work due to family, medical, or other reasons. 57.3% of US adults report ‘somewhat’ or ‘strongly’ agreeing that employers should mandate the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine for employees returning to in-person work, compared to 56.6% in September. 

Holiday Plans

As the holidays approach, 27.7% of US adults are ‘very concerned’ that the upcoming holidays will cause an increase in COVID-19 cases in their state, a significant decrease compared to 48.6% almost one year ago. Nationally, plans to travel this holiday season (27.1%) have doubled from 2020 (13.1%). Similarly, there is an increase in US adults planning to celebrate with friends or family members who live outside of their home (57.0%), compared to 2020 (36.8%). This year, 59.0% of US adults say their holiday gatherings will be the same size as last year, compared to 27.8% who said their gatherings would be the same size in 2020.  13.5% of US adults report that their holiday gatherings will be larger this year and 27.6% say their holiday gatherings will be smaller than last year.

Methodology

Responses were gathered through online web panels, quality screened, and weighted to accurately reflect the entire adult population of the US. Questions were fielded October 13–16, 2021 (4,271 respondents).


Download Quick Takes From Prior Waves

Deep dive analysis is available at a national level and starting in Wave 4, for certain states.

October 13–16, 2021: National

September 16–19, 2021: National | Florida | New York | Washington | Texas | Ohio

August 23–24, 2021: National

July 22–26, 2021: National | Florida | New York | Washington | Texas | Ohio

June 16-21, 2021: National

May 6-10, 2021: National | Florida | New York | Washington | Texas | Ohio

Mar. 11-15, 2021: National | Florida | New York | Washington | Texas | Ohio

Feb. 11-15, 2021: National | Florida | New York | Washington | Texas | Ohio

Jan. 14-19, 2021: National | Florida | New York | Washington | Texas | Ohio

Dec. 9-14, 2020: National | Florida | New York | Washington | Texas | Ohio

Oct. 21-26, 2020: National | Florida | New York | Washington | Texas | Ohio

Sept. 17-21, 2020: National | Florida | New York | Washington | Texas | Ohio

August 20-23, 2020: National | Florida | New York | Washington | Texas | Ohio

July 17-20, 2020: National | Florida | New York | Washington | Texas | Ohio

June 09-14, 2020: National | New York | Washington | Ohio

May 22-26, 2020: National | Florida | New York | Washington | Texas | Ohio

May 08-10, 2020: National | Florida | New York | Washington | Texas

April 23-26, 2020: National | Florida | New York | Washington

April 17-19, 2020: National

April 10-12, 2020: National

April 02-04, 2020: National

This data has been shared with the Understanding Coronavirus in America Study led by the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research.