Many have criticized the current COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the U.S., with roughly 3 percent of the total country fully vaccinated with two doses as of February. Some states are just starting to include people outside of essential groups, while others have many elderly and vulnerable populations still without a vaccination. New coronavirus cases and deaths, however, are down considerably in the country from their peak at the beginning of the year, and new survey data shows many have already returned to in-person gatherings despite the slow vaccine rollout.
In a new joint survey from Axios and Ipsos, 28 percent of all Americans say they’re already back to participating in normal in-person gatherings with friends and family members despite not being vaccinated. Another 46 percent say they’re still waiting until either they and their inner circle are vaccinated or until their local and national officials say it’s safe to gather in-person. A quarter of people responded that they still don’t know when to return to in-person gatherings.
Those who have already returned to normal in-person gatherings show a predictably high level of partisan divide. While only 10 percent of Democrats say they’ve returned to in-person gatherings despite the slow rollout of the vaccine, a substantial 42 percent of Republicans say the same. Only 12 percent of Republicans say they’re waiting on local and national officials to say it’s safe before going to gatherings in-person – many times without a mask.