According to a study conducted by an ongoing panel survey of Northwestern University (NU) and the Ohio State University, Americans significantly are less concerned that they could die of Covid-19, while their overall perceived likelihood of contracting the virus remained relatively consistent from December through February.
Erik Nisbet, a professor of communication and policy analysis and director of the Center for Communication and Public Policy at NU said, “In December, Americans believed that they had almost a one in three chance of dying if they contracted Covid-19.”
“Now, two months later, that number has dropped significantly to an approximately one in four chance of dying if they got sick. Interestingly, the overall perception of the likelihood of contracting Covid-19 has not changed significantly.”
“Public Attitudes about Covid-19 Vaccination,” a study of 1,200 Americans surveyed monthly from December 2020 through June 2021, finds changes in attitudes around risk perceptions, decision making, policy preferences and preventative health behaviors.
The respondents were asked about masking up and vaccine mandates, bars on restrictions and places of worship, willingness or hesitancy to get vaccinated and vaccine availability and effectiveness.
The Xinhua news agency reported that the study found that despite some states lifting statewide mask mandates, the public’s strong support, registering at 61%, for mask mandates remains unchanged from December.
Out of 10, four Americans are “vaccine accepting,” saying that they are extremely likely or likely to get a Covid-19 vaccine.
However, another one in four is showing vaccine hesitancy, according to the reports that show they are either somewhat likely or somewhat unlikely to get vaccinated.
Approximately 1 in 3 Americans remains “vaccine-resistant,” saying that they are unlikely or extremely unlikely to get it.
These percentages have remained steady and largely unchanged, over a three-month period.
Respondents who expressed their hesitancy, as compared to acceptance, were more of female, Black and/or religious, and they indicated they were less interested in news.
There are also healthcare providers who were less trusting and public health experts were less likely to get an annual flu shot and perceive the Covid-19 vaccines as less safe and somewhat less effective.
However, according to 23 percent of respondents, the most important source of information on the Covid-19 pandemic is news media, including newspapers, TV news, radio, news websites, followed by federal health authorities, such as those representing the CDC and FDA at 18 percent.
Health care providers and scientists were both chosen as the most important source by 11 percent. Few respondents named social media or state and local officials as a primary source of Covid information.