Biden gets positive marks for COVID-19 handling, but getting vaccines remains a problem

February 12, 2021, 5:25 PM UTC

Americans approve of the way President Joe Biden is handling the COVID-19 pandemic by 51% to 32%, and there are positive reactions to the COVID-19 relief package now being debated in Congress. But the latest Economist/YouGov poll indicates that vaccine distribution remains slow and difficult, with Americans divided on whether the Biden Administration will be able to distribute the vaccine effectively.

Americans are split on the Biden Administration’s ability to deliver vaccines: two in five (41%) are confident they can, but 39% are uneasy. These confidence numbers have remained steady in recent weeks.

COVID-19: Personal Effects

Most Americans (55%) believe the rollout of the vaccine has been too slow, with Democrats more concerned than Republicans. Democratic urgency may be related to their heightened concern about contracting the virus personally: more Democrats than Republicans have expressed worry about being infected with COVID-19.  

Who will get the COVID-19 vaccine, and when? 

Many aren’t sure when they will have the option of being vaccinated, though most who want to be injected assume they will be by the end of the summer. Americans approve overwhelmingly of how the priority system has been determined, by 69% to 18%. Just two in five (39%) say they personally should have priority, but senior citizens are especially likely to want to be at the top of the list. More than two-thirds (69%) of those 65 years old and older want priority.  

Senior citizens are the most willing to take the vaccine: 53% say they intend to do so and 20% have already received their injection. Just 14% of those at least 65 years old say they won’t be vaccinated. Among all Americans this figure is twice as high (28%), with Republicans particularly skeptical: 39% will not get vaccinated and another one in five (20%) are not certain.

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov poll 

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between February 6 - 9, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.0% for the overall sample. 

Image: Getty