Here Are The Biggest Groups That Are Still Refusing The Covid-19 Vaccine, Poll Finds
As Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy continues to be an obstacle to President Joe Biden’s push for 70% of U.S. adults to receive at least one vaccine dose by July 4, new polling analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that certain groups—including younger Americans and Republicans—are among the most likely to be declining the shot.
The KFF poll, conducted May 18-25, found that the highest share of unvaccinated respondents were 30-49 years old (41%), followed by 29% ages 18-29 and 20% ages 50-64, while only 9% of those unvaccinated were 65 and older.
Nearly half of unvaccinated respondents were Republicans (49% versus 29% Democrats), as opposed to 31% of vaccinated respondents who identified as Republicans and 59% Democrats.
Both unvaccinated and vaccinated respondents were disproportionately likely to be white (56% unvaccinated versus 64% vaccinated), based in the suburbs (56% unvaccinated versus 52% vaccinated) and have health insurance (76% unvaccinated versus 88% vaccinated).
Unvaccinated respondents were more likely to have lower education levels (46% attended only high school or less) and lower income levels (42% earn less than $40,000 per year) than their vaccinated counterparts, who are nearly twice as likely to have earned a college degree or more.
There were also discrepancies between unvaccinated respondents who said they would “definitely not” get the vaccine and those who just plan to “wait and see”: The “definitely not” group is overwhelmingly more white (70% of respondents), Republican (67%) and concentrated in the 30-49 age group (48%).
The “wait and see” group, by contrast, is more divided politically—39% are Democrats and 41% Republicans—and are slightly more likely to be Black or Hispanic (22% Black and 20% Hispanic, versus 5% and 11% in the “definitely not group”), though 72% are still between the ages of 18 and 49.
37%. That’s the total share of KFF’s respondents who are still unvaccinated, versus 62% who are vaccinated. That’s in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showing that 64% of adults ages 18 and older have received at least one vaccine dose.
Vaccine hesitancy has become a major issue as vaccine supply has outstripped demand, resulting in drop offs in vaccination rates across the country and vaccine doses risking expiration. The Biden Administration has declared June a “National Month of Action” to spur more people to get the shot ahead of July 4, and states have been offering a wide array of vaccine incentives—ranging from million-dollar lotteries to giving away guns—to inspire those on the fence about the vaccine to get inoculated. While 13 states have so far hit Biden’s 70% goal, a number of others have still only vaccinated less than half of their populations, putting the July 4 goal at risk. Those still unwilling to get the shot cite concerns about the vaccine’s safety and how quickly it was developed as reasons behind not getting inoculated, as well as not considering Covid-19 to be a huge risk. The KFF poll found that 71% of unvaccinated respondents said they were “not at all” or “not too worried” about getting “seriously sick” from Covid-19, versus 65% of vaccinated respondents who said the same.
What To Watch For
When asked in the KFF poll about what could make them more likely them to get the shot, the “wait and see” group were most likely to be persuaded by vaccines receiving full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (44%), the vaccine being available at a place they already go for health care (46%) and vaccines being required for things like air travel (41%) and large events like concerts (40%). The only possible situation in which more than 10% of respondents in the “definitely not” group said they could be convinced to get vaccinated was airlines requiring vaccines, with 11% saying that would make them more likely to get inoculated.