As the Biden administration seeks to propel its vaccination programme forward, vaccine hesitancy appears to remain a lingering issue, with more than a quarter of US adults saying in a new survey that they have not yet had a Covid jab and are unlikely to do so in the future.
Among those in that group, 73 per cent said they believe US officials have been exaggerating the risks of the highly contagious Delta variant.
Meanwhile, a sweeping 79 per cent said they believed they were at little to no risk of getting sick from Covid-19.
The apparent lack of concern comes as President Joe Biden and health officials in the US and around the world have stressed that the Delta variant, which was first identified in India, is more contagious than others, including the Alpha variant, which originated in the UK.
It also comes as the variant now accounts for more than a quarter of new Covid cases in the US.
Just this week, the story of a 45-year-old woman who died from the Delta variant (after having avoided getting vaccinated over fears of the potential side effects) made headline.
The woman, Tricia Jones, was from Missouri, a state with one of the lowest vaccinate rates in the country.
Ms Jones’ family has said that she was hesitant to get the jab after hearing “horror stories” and seeing her mother struggle with short-lived side effects of the jab.
In the survey, which was conducted by phone from 27 to 30 June among a random national sample of 907 adults, 60 per cent of participants overall said they had received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine.
Previously, the Biden administration had sought to see 70 per cent of people receive at least one dose of a Covid vaccine by 4 July.
However, it missed that target on Sunday, with about 67 per cent of adults across the country having received at least one dose going into the weekend, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The White House had acknowledged that it would likely narrowly miss the target last month as officials urged US residents to vaccinated.
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