By Michael Erman
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Around two-thirds of adults in the United States do not plan to get updated COVID-19 booster shots soon, according to a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a health policy nonprofit organization.
Only a third of adults polled said they either already received the updated shots or plan to get the booster as soon as possible, the poll found.
The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna Inc shots, updated to target more recently circulating Omicron subvariants of the coronavirus as well as the original strain, were authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late last month.
Around 18% said they would wait and see whether they would get the new booster shot, while 10% said they would only get it if it was required. Around 12% of adults surveyed said they would definitely not get the shot, while 27% said they were not eligible because they were not fully vaccinated.
About 7.6 million people received the updated shots over the first four weeks the boosters have been available, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released on Thursday. That represents about 3.5% of the 215.5 million people in the United States aged 12 or older who are eligible to receive the shots because they have completed their primary vaccination series.
Awareness of the new vaccines is low, with only half of adults surveyed saying they had heard a lot or some about the boosters, according to the Kaiser survey.
Additionally, around 40% of fully vaccinated adults said they were not sure whether the new COVID-19 boosters are recommended for them. The CDC has recommended the shots for all fully vaccinated people aged 12 and older.
For the survey, KFF polled 1,534 adults from Sept. 15 to Sept. 26.
(Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Bill Berkrot)