US

Polls Show Just How Misinformed Americans Are On Delta Variant

(Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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A pair of new polls show that Americans are vastly underestimating the effectiveness of vaccines and expect the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is still ahead.

Fifty-four percent of Americans now believe the worst of the pandemic is “ahead of us” rather than behind us, according to a new Harris Poll provided to Axios. The Aug. 1 survey is the first Harris Poll since February in which Americans are expecting the pandemic to get worse instead of better.

The Harris Poll is a weekly tracking poll that has been run from Dec. 28, 2020 to Aug. 1 with a sample size of 2,097 respondents.

Another poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that only 23% of unvaccinated Americans believe COVID-19 vaccines are “extremely or very effective” at preventing death, and only 21% believed they are extremely or very effective at preventing hospitalization. Just 13% said the vaccines are extremely or very effective at preventing infection.

The KFF poll was conducted from July 15-27 and had a sample of 1,517 adults.

In reality, the vaccines are overwhelmingly effective at preventing hospitalization or death from COVID-19 and are highly effective at preventing infection, including against the delta variant. As of July 26, just 1,263 vaccinated Americans had died with COVID-19 out of more than 163 million vaccine recipients, and only 6,587 had been hospitalized or died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some corporate media outlets have come under fire for spreading inappropriate alarm about the severity of the Delta variant. White House COVID-19 response official Ben Wakana blasted both The Washington Post and The New York Times last week for their coverage of breakthrough Delta variant cases, calling The Post “completely irresponsible.” (RELATED: Biden Administration Indicates They Are Open To More Lockdowns If Scientists Recommend Them)

Multiple jurisdictions have began reinstituting mask mandates due to the ongoing surge in cases caused by the Delta variant and a recent reversal of CDC guidance on mask-wearing for vaccinated adults. Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday his city would become the first to begin mandating proof of vaccination at certain indoor facilities.