And while 38% said they opposed mandatory vaccination of schoolchildren, 49% said the idea was acceptable, according to the report.
Among those who said they were likely to get vaccinated anyway, mandate support shot up. Among that group, 74% supported child/school mandates, 65% supported adult mandates and 73% supported employer-enforced mandates.
Support dipped among Black respondents with just 27% supporting mandatory vaccination of adults. But support rose among those with college degrees.
Political affiliation also influenced perspectives. Democrats strongly favored adult, employer-enforced and child mandates (61%, 66% and 70%, respectively), but support fell off dramatically among Republicans (23%, 31% and 28%, respectively).
Still, Largent struck a largely upbeat tone.
“Now that we have all of these great images of health care providers being vaccinated, I think we’ll see an increase in people reporting that they are likely to be vaccinated,” she said.
But that will depend on the medical community being honest and forthright about the science, said Dr. Erika Schwartz, a preventive medicine specialist and founder of Evolved Science in New York City. She was not part of the survey team.
“We need to show results that are convincing,” Schwartz said. And looking ahead, “the data collected must address a much more representative cross-section of the population. Those at high risk must be carefully evaluated, and transparency in data release is crucial.”
Kathryn Tart, founding dean and professor in the University of Houston College of Nursing, said fostering trust will be key and nurses will play a major role in that. For the past 17 years, she said, the Gallup Poll has found that nurses are the most-trusted professionals.
“We are incredibly excited to have this vaccine, which is why we are lining up — nurses and health care professionals — to get vaccinated,” Tart said. “And you can trust us, because when we have a choice between living or dying, we choose life. That’s what nurses do. And this vaccine will save lives.”
Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.