Vaccinated Californians say unvaccinated people are “putting people like me and my family at risk

Linley SandersSenior Data Journalist
August 18, 2021, 2:45 PM UTC

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is sending cases surging across parts of America, including states with generally high vaccination rates. One such state is California, where 54% of the population is fully vaccinated – slightly higher than the 51% of Americans overall who are fully vaccinated.

In recent weeks, the state’s case load has rapidly risen, with the Los Angeles Times reporting a “level of daily infection higher than at any point during last summer’s surge.” Despite the rise in confirmed cases, there are fewer Californians being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19 because of the state’s high vaccination rate.

A CBS News/YouGov poll of 1,856 California adult residents indicates that nearly three-quarters of Californians (72%) believe the recent rise in COVID-19 cases was preventable. Among those who believe the increase could have been stopped, two-thirds of this group say that more people getting vaccinated (67%), wearing masks or social distancing (68%) would have prevented the state’s recent uptick in cases.

About two in five (41%) say that slower re-openings would have made a difference. One-third believe that better guidance from the medical community (32%) or more significant travel restrictions (31%) would have slowed the spread. About one-quarter of Californians (28%) think that limits on immigration and border crossings would have changed the state’s caseload. 

Most of the vaccinated population in California (59%) says that unvaccinated people are “putting people like me and my family at risk.” A majority also believes that unvaccinated adults are being misled by false information (57%). Around half (47%) describe themselves as “upset or angry” at those who have not yet gotten a shot.  

Only one-quarter of vaccinated Californians (27%) say they respect others’ decision to not get the vaccine, while just one in nine (11%) say they don’t care what unvaccinated people do.

See the toplines and crosstabs from this CBS News/YouGov poll

Related: California likely voters are split 52%/48% on whether to recall Gavin Newsom 

Methodology: This CBS News survey was fielded by YouGov with a representative sample of 1,856 California adult residents interviewed between August 6 - 12, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey, and the U.S. Census Current Population Survey, as well as 2020 Presidential vote. The margin of error is ± 4.0 points for the total sample.  

Image: Sarah Chai from Pexels