The Biden administration’s decision to relax its recommendations for mask usage last month for Americans who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 looks increasingly influential in efforts to get people back to their routine and increase demand for the U.S. economy, per new trend data.
Responses collected in Morning Consult’s weekly Return to Normal tracking since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s May 13 guidance reveal a vaccinated population that has grown more comfortable with dozens of activities.
In the latest June 3-6 poll, an average of 51 percent of U.S. adults who reported receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine said they were “very” or “somewhat” comfortable with a range of 43 activities such as flying, going to a sporting event or dining out — an increase of 12 percentage points from polling conducted just before the CDC’s announcement.
Americans who have not been vaccinated, meanwhile, saw their average level of comfort toward the same slate of pastimes tick up by 4 points over the same period, to 53 percent.
That 2-point gap is among the smallest divides measured between the vaccinated and unvaccinated since Feb. 6, along with a 1-point gap between the two groups over Memorial Day weekend.
Over the past two weeks, this has driven consumer comfort levels among all adults to an average of 52 percent — a record high in Return to Normal tracking.
The sizable upticks in comfort levels among vaccinated Americans between the early May and latest polling came as the share of U.S. adults who reported receiving at least one dose grew by 3 points, from 40 percent to 43 percent. The latest survey polled 956 U.S. adults who had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 1,244 U.S. adults who had not, with 3-point margins of error on those responses.
Increasing comfort among the vaccinated population will be a key driver of increased economic activity, as Morning Consult economist John Leer noted on May 12, and the latest findings suggest the CDC’s nudge to get people back to their normal habits last month continues to bear fruit on that front.