But the attitude improvement is striking. A similar shift on another heated pandemic issue was reflected in a different Kaiser poll this month. It found that nearly 75 percent of Americans are now wearing masks when they leave their homes.
The change reflects a constellation of recent events: the uncoupling of the vaccine from Election Day; clinical trial results showing about 95 percent efficacy and relatively modest side effects for the vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna; and the alarming surge in new coronavirus infections and deaths.
“As soon as it is my turn to get the vaccine, I will be there front and center! I am very excited and hopeful,” said Joanne Barnes, 68, a retired elementary school teacher from Fairbanks, Alaska, who told The New York Times last summer that she would not get it.
What changed her mind?
“The Biden administration, returning to listening to science and the fantastic stats associated with the vaccines,” she replied.