A solid majority of Americans approve of the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, according to a new Gallup survey. The January edition of the survey found overall approval at less than half, with just 34 percent of overall respondents indicating that they approved of the roll-out at the time, but for the March installment of the poll, a full 68 percent of overall respondents said that they approve of the vaccine distribution process. Besides the transfer of presidential power from Trump to Biden, vaccination rates have steadily increased over the last few months.
Overall approval of the vaccine roll-out process was still at less than a majority level in February, when just 44 percent of respondents said that they approved of the roll-out. In the latest survey, majorities of both Democrats and Republicans approve of the vaccine distribution process, including 73 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Republicans, meaning that a majority of the supporters of the current opposition party are in support of the direction of a major initiative from the Biden administration.
At present, over 15 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated, with many states having prioritized high-risk groups like seniors and healthcare workers in the early stages of the vaccine distribution process. Biden recently announced that his administration was hoping for all states to have vaccines available to all adults by May 1, and many states seem well on-track to meeting that goal. Across the country as a whole, over 100 million vaccine doses have been administered, although some of those doses are part of a two-dose regimen, meaning that individual patients would need two of them. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is currently approved for use in the U.S., only requires one dose.
The high levels of support for the vaccine roll-out mirror high levels of support for the COVID-19 economic relief package that Biden recently signed into law. Overall support for that legislation has repeatedly hit 70 percent in recent surveys, although not a single Republican in Congress actually voted for the measure. Ahead of the midterm elections in 2022, Republicans seeking re-election might have to explain to voters, including some of their own party’s members, why they didn’t support the critically needed aid.