Although more and more people are becoming eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, many of them are finding it difficult to secure an appointment, according to a new survey of 1,000 Americans by Healthinsurance.com.
Not only are eligible groups struggling to access the vaccine, but some have also lost their health insurance and are unaware of their options for health care coverage. Likewise, many Americans who do have insurance are hesitant to switch jobs right now out of fear of losing their health coverage.
Many older people struggle with vaccine access
According to the survey, nearly half of respondents (48%) know someone aged 65 or older who has had trouble signing up for the vaccine. More than two-thirds (68%) say they will sign up as soon as they are eligible, assuming they can make an appointment.
However, respondents don’t think that getting vaccinated means an end to mask-wearing or social distancing. A solid majority of the respondents (86%) said that people who have been vaccinated should keep taking these precautions to protect others around them.
Losing health insurance a major issue
While we’re all living through this global health crisis, sadly some Americans are doing so without health coverage. The survey found that 27% of respondents knew someone who had lost health insurance during the pandemic.
What’s more, almost half (46%) said they didn’t know what options were available to them if they too were to lose their health coverage. This included those unaware that the government has opened a special enrollment period for Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage through May 15.
On the other hand, one-third of respondents did say they knew someone who would be taking advantage of this special ACA enrollment period.
Majority feel pandemic fatigue, say working from home helps
Amid the challenges of this past year, a majority of 54% admitted to feeling "pandemic fatigue." Of that group, 53% said the frustration over the pandemic was so bad that they were ready to return to their normal activities despite the risks.
Among those who did not report pandemic fatigue, 55% said they had accepted the situation because their priority was keeping themselves safe.
The survey also found a similar number of respondents working from home (39%) as those working from their regular location (42%). About 1 in 5 (19%) said they were doing a combination of the two.
While half of respondents said that working from home makes it harder to achieve work-life balance, the majority (79%) said that this arrangement has been beneficial for their mental health. Likewise, 52% said they would even be willing to get paid less if it meant they could work from home indefinitely.
Methodology: Healthinsurance.com surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults between Feb. 11-15, 2021. The survey results had a 3.1% margin of error.