Americans prioritize boosters at home over vaccines for poorer nations abroad

Linley SandersSenior Data Journalist
August 25, 2021, 4:20 PM UTC

The Biden Administration promised last week to begin offering “booster shots” of the COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable Americans in September. The announcement came as the World Health Organization has pleaded with wealthy nations to hold off on giving additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to their own citizens while other countries struggle to obtain initial vaccines.

A YouGov poll of 22,296 U.S. adults indicates that Americans tend to agree with President Joe Biden’s decision to prioritize giving booster shots to those living in the U.S. who qualify for them (45%) over distributing vaccines to other nations with less access (30%). 

Older Americans — who are more likely to be eligible for the booster shots — are particularly likely to prioritize extra shots for Americans over initial vaccine doses for other countries. Americans who are 55 and older are twice as likely to say the United States should focus on domestic distribution of booster shots (53%) over giving vaccines to nations with less access (26%).

Nearly every age group puts American interests over other nations, except for 18-to 24-year-olds. They would rather see the U.S. government distribute those vaccines to other countries in need (45%), rather than focus on providing boosters to its own population (29%).

See the toplines from this YouGov Daily poll 

Methodology22,296 US adults were asked on August 13 - 16, 2021: "Thinking about COVID-19 vaccines, which do you think should be more of a priority for the United States?" Response options: "Distributing vaccines to other nations with less access" and "Don't Know." The responding samples are weighted to be representative of the US population.

Image: Getty