About 3 in 5 (61%) people over 50 who have gotten at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine say they would get an updated COVID-19 booster, according to a new poll. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo
Most older U.S. adults are prepared to roll up their sleeves to get an updated COVID-19 booster shot once one becomes available, a new poll shows.
About 3 in 5 (61%) people over 50 who have gotten at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine say they would get an updated booster that offers protection against the new variants that have emerged, the University of Michigan poll found.
And even more might get the booster if their doctors specifically recommend it, the National Poll on Healthy Aging suggests.
Groups especially hard hit by COVID -- people older than 65, Black adults over 50, people with low incomes -- in particular are interested in the booster. About 68% of people in each of those groups said they're likely to get a booster.
How you feel about getting a booster depends a lot on your current vaccination status. Only 24% of people who have been vaccinated but not boosted said they are very likely to get a fall booster, compared with 56% of those who have gotten one booster and 88% of those who have had two.
The poll shows that only 19% of 50- to 64-year-olds and 44% of folks over 64 have gotten the full course of vaccination with two booster doses. On the other hand, 17% of people over 50 haven't been vaccinated at all.
Your doctor's advice also matters. About 77% of older adults say their healthcare provider's recommendation about COVID vaccination is very or somewhat important to their decision to get vaccinated.
A doctor's advice was most important for those over 65 (56%), Black people (79%), retirees (56%) or those with incomes under $30,000 (56%).
"The vaccines we've had since late 2020 have saved countless lives and made COVID-19 much less serious for millions worldwide. We also know that those who got at least one booster dose have done better than others in the Omicron variant era," said poll director Dr. Preeti Malani, an infectious disease doctor also trained in geriatrics at Michigan Medicine.
"But if we're going to drive down deaths, hospitalizations, serious illness and long-term effects even further, we will need to get as many people vaccinated with these new formulations as possible," she said in a poll news release.
The poll, conducted in late July online and by phone, included a nationally representative sample of 1,024 adults over 50.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about COVID vaccines.
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