69% of Americans say they've gotten or plan to get COVID-19 vaccine: Poll

Dr. Anthony Fauci says a vast majority should get vaccinated to stop the virus.

An increasing percentage of Americans -- 69% -- say they've gotten or plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center.

Infectious disease experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have said the vast majority of Americans will need to get vaccinated to stop the COVID-19 virus from spreading and widespread uptake of the vaccine combined with keeping case numbers low could bring the country closer to a sense of normalcy later this year.

The Pew poll found that 19% of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, 32% say they will definitely get the vaccine and 17% say they will probably get it.

The numbers are slightly lower than last May when 72% of Americans say they definitely or probably would get the vaccine but are significantly higher than when plans to get the vaccine dropped to 52% in September.

Thirty percent of adults said they probably or definitely will not get the vaccine, according to the Pew poll.

A majority of Black Americans, 61%, now say they have received or plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine and more Democrats than Republicans say they plan to get it.

Overall, Americans are also more optimistic about the overall state of the pandemic, an increase to 60% compared to a dramatic decline during fall and winter last year, according to a poll by Gallup.

As Americans appear more optimistic after the post-holiday surge in cases, they also support lifting restrictions put in place to limit the spread of virus, though the CDC and public health officials around the country warn that the overall number of cases is still high and Americans should keep wearing masks to protect themselves and keep others from becoming infected.

Some states, including Texas and Mississippi, have recently announced plans to reopen and faced backlash for steps like lifting statewide requirements to wear masks too soon.

Around the country, 31% of Americans say there should be fewer restrictions in place at this point in the pandemic, according to the Pew poll, while 41% say restrictions should stay the same and 25% support more steps to control the virus.

Those views, though, differ by party affiliation: 56% of Republicans say there should be fewer restrictions in place compared to 10% of Democrats.

Even though masks are not required to be worn in every state overall the vast majority of Americans report wearing masks, almost nine in 10 adults say they wear a mask all or most of the time when in public and visiting businesses.

When it comes to political affiliation, 92% of Democrats report regularly wearing masks and 83% of Republicans.