The Pew Research Center conducted the survey from Aug. 23-29, more than a year and a half into the pandemic.
The figures come as U.S. Catholic bishops continue to issue policies regarding vaccine exemptions for religious reasons. Some, including Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, have upheld the rights of Catholics to decline COVID-19 vaccines out of conscience, while also encouraging Catholics to get vaccinated. Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, meanwhile, said “[t]here is no religious exemption for Catholics to being vaccinated,” and required all diocesan employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment.
Some Catholics have raised concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines’ remote connection to aborted fetal tissue, using cell lines derived from fetal tissue of babies believed to have been aborted in the 1970s.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has said that all three vaccines approved for use in the United States are “morally acceptable” for use because of their remote connection with abortion, but if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines should be chosen over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna were tested using the controversial cell lines, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was both produced and tested using the cell lines.
Pew’s survey also found that 73% of Americans aged 18 or older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The survey found lower vaccination rates among younger adults, as well as among those with lower family incomes and those living in rural areas. Black adults are now about as likely as White adults to say they have received a vaccine, according to the survey.
Democrats were more likely to have received a vaccine than Republicans, with 86% of Democrats and left-leaning Independents having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 60% of Republicans.