Poll: Most Americans Approve of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause

Poll: Most Americans Approve of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause Poll: Most Americans Approve of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause Boxes containing vials of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine sit in a container before being transported to a refrigeration unit at Louisville Metro Health and Wellness headquarters on March 4, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Tuesday, 20 April 2021 07:19 AM

Most Americans know about the pause in the distribution of Johnson & Johnson's one-dose COVID-19 vaccine and approve of it, according to a poll taken a few days after the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration announced the action.

The latest Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index poll, taken April 16-19, showed that 91% of Americans have heard about the pause, and 88% felt the FDA and CDC acted responsibly by recommending the vaccine be put on hold after reports of a rare blood clotting reaction among women who had gotten the shot.

"People are unfazed," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, reports Axios. "The way forward is about the vaccine, so if there’s any stumble people are going to pay attention to it — but it hasn’t had an impact thus far on willingness to get the vaccine."

The poll also showed that the approval of the pause didn't depend on the respondents' political party, and that overall, trust in the CDC and national public health officials on providing accurate information about the pandemic remains high:

  • 87% of Republicans believed health officials acted responsibly by pausing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, compared to 91% of Democrats
  • Two-thirds to 70% of respondents said they trust national health officials for details about COVID-19.

Further, the pause didn't affect Americans' likelihood to get their own vaccinations when they become available according to to the poll, which was taken before Monday, when all Americans over 16 became eligible —

  • 20% still say they are not likely to get the vaccine, a number that has stayed steady since January 2021.
  • 56% of American adults report having received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, the poll shows that a year after the pandemic effectively shut the nation down, Americans are starting to re-emerge as their habits and risk calculations change.

  • Small but steady increases in the numbers of those who are now venturing out to eat in restaurants and to visit retail stores were reported, and 53% said they visited friends or relatives in the past week.
  • Slightly fewer people report having remained socially distanced, with 61% saying they practiced social distancing, down 6 points from last month and 13 points from two months ago.

Mask wearing also appears to be dropping. While 63% report they are still wearing a mask at all times when they leave their homes, the number dropped 10 percentage points from 2 months ago and has reached the lowest point since last summer.

The perceived risks people see in returning to pre-coronavirus life has also reached the lowest level since the pollsters started asking the question, and is now at 52% as risks being seen in activities like shopping in retail and grocery stores or attending sporting events is dropping.

The poll, taken by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel was based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,033 general population adults age 18 or older.