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COVID-19 in Maryland

Goucher Poll: Marylanders Embrace COVID Vaccines, Split Over When People Will Return to ‘Normal, Pre-COVID Lives’

A nurse draws a vaccine dose during a COVID-19 vaccination event at the Cameron Grove Community Center in Bowie. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

The vast majority of Marylanders surveyed in a new Goucher College poll had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but were split as to when they think Maryland will be able to return to a pre-pandemic normal.

Among respondents to the poll released Wednesday, 78% said they had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That’s a dramatic increase from the 19% who said they’d gotten at least one shot in a Goucher poll conducted in March when vaccines were slowly becoming available to adults younger than 65.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 85.9% of Maryland’s adult population had received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to a data tracker from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 9% of respondents in the Goucher poll — conducted Oct. 14 through Oct. 20 — said they would “definitely not” get the vaccine, 5% said they will wait and see how it’s working, 2% said they will only get the vaccine if it is required, and 1% said they would “get it as soon as they can.”

The poll of 700 Marylanders was conducted by telephone and 84% of those were mobile. The margin of error is 3.7 percent.

As to when they expect that “Marylanders will be able to fully return to their normal, pre-COVID lives,” 29% said they expect it will take more than a year.

Almost as many, 28%, said it will happen within the next year.

Some were more optimistic: 15% said Maryland could reach pre-COVID normal within four to six months; 5% said within one to three months and 5% said people are already able to return to normal.

Another 16% of those surveyed said that people won’t ever be able to return to a pre-pandemic “normal.”

Of the 78% of respondents who said they received at least one dose of the vaccine, 83% said they are likely to get a booster shot when it becomes available to them, and 15% said they are unlikely to get the booster.

About 67% of respondents who got at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine said they have limited in-person time with friends, family or acquaintances who haven’t been vaccinated.

Concern about contracting COVID has waned slightly since Goucher’s March poll. In March, 43% of respondents said they were very concerned about themselves or a close family member catching the virus, now  that figure is 34%. Another 21% of respondents said they were “not at all” concerned about themselves or a close family member contracting the virus, up from 13% in March.

Marylanders have approved of Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s response to COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, according to Goucher’s polls. In the October 2021 poll, just 10% of residents said they disapproved of the governor’s handling of COVID-19 and another 10% said they strongly disapproved.

Roughly 79% of respondents said they either approved or strongly approved of the response by Hogan (R). That figure was 82% in Goucher’s October 2020 poll and 76% in the March poll.

Of the 700 Maryland adults surveyed, 631 said they were registered voters. Of the registered voters, 56% were Democrats, 25% were Republicans, 17% were unaffiliated and 2% said they belonged to another political party, closely mirroring the state’s demographics.

The results released Wednesday are the second part of a three-part poll. The first poll results, released earlier this week, showed a slight dip in support for legalizing recreational marijuana and 68% approval rating for Hogan.

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