Under the pending federal requirement, more than 80 million employees of private businesses in the United States will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing. (Getty Images)
The state’s rate of fully vaccinated residents has been stuck at 54 percent since July. The latest Granite State Panel from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center suggests neither the Delta variant nor the state’s $1.3 million vaccine campaign will make much of a difference.
According to the survey, one in five New Hampshire adults say they won’t get a COVID-19 vaccine, a slight drop from 25 percent who said so in a June poll, which was done before the Delta variant triggered a surge in cases. Ninety percent of those opposed to the vaccines, however, said Delta won’t change their minds. And the significant jump in daily COVID-19 cases – Friday’s seven-day average was 370 versus 19 in late June – hasn’t seemed to have had an impact.
Top reasons cited include distrust that the vaccine is safe (79 percent); disbelief it will keep them from getting sick with COVID-19 (76 percent); and distrust in the drug companies manufacturing the vaccines (70 percent).
The percentage who said they don’t believe COVID-19 poses a serious health risk has dropped considerably since June, from 50 percent to 24 percent, according to the results. But the number who said they’ve had COVID-19 and don’t feel a vaccine is necessary increased, from 40 percent to 48 percent.
A slight majority (53 percent) of Granite Staters support mandated vaccines for employees, something the state’s hospitals and now the federal government are doing. The poll, however, also confirms employers’ fears about losing workers if they mandate a vaccine. Thirty-eight percent of those who say they will not get a vaccine would quit their jobs if a vaccine was required and 30 percent were unsure what they’d do, according to the poll.
The poll also asked about school mask policies and the governor’s handling of the pandemic.
Nearly 70 percent of respondents said they support Chris Sununu’s decision to let school districts decide their mask policies. Among those who’d like the state to take charge, 77 percent want masks mandated.
Sununu came out ahead of President Joe Biden when respondents were asked if they support their handling of the pandemic, 68 percent versus 51 percent. But that support has dropped for both, by eight percentage points for Sununu and four points for Biden.
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