Partisanship Isn�t The Only Reason Why So Many Americans Remain Unvaccinated

Pollapalooza is our weekly polling roundup. It is easy to blame partisanship these days. COVID-19 is raging across the U.S. at a rapid pace, causing cases and CDC guidance shift to shift. Because around 30% of Americans are still unvaccinated, the delta variant is rapidly spreading. The country is just behind President Biden's July Fourth goal of 70 percent, with only 60% of adults fully vaccinated. Another 9 percent are partially vaccinated. As we've seen over the past months, Americans' willingness to be vaccinated can serve as a proxy for their political views. Republicans are more likely to refuse a vaccine than Democrats or independents. According to the poll, around 20%-30% of Republicans believe they will not be vaccinated. Only 5% of Democrats agree. Surveys show that Independents are refusing the vaccine at a range of 10 to 25 percent. FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast However, partisanship has not been the only factor that has affected Americans' vaccination status. Americans who are not vaccinated tend to be less educated, younger and more poor than those who are vaccinated. They also have a higher likelihood of being a person from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is due to politics, but also because there are more people who have access to the vaccine and greater skepticism about the health care system. Politics is not as important as age in determining who gets vaccinated. Because they are more susceptible to coronavirus infections, older Americans are more likely to get vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80 percent of Americans 65 and older have been fully vaccinated. This compares to 55 percent for Americans aged 18-64. The 18-64 age range is the most vulnerable. It's less likely to get vaccinated than the rest of the population. Young people are less likely to get vaccinated if they have skepticism and uncertainty. In June, the CDC reported that nearly half of Americans under 40 were either unsure or not planning to get the vaccine from March through May. According to polls, there is less doubt now. The Public Religion Research Institute recently found that Americans younger than 50 years old were more likely to be hesitant or against getting the vaccine. It was slightly higher than 50 percent in March but it fell to 35 percent in June. In the June survey, only half of those 35 percent were still opposed to vaccination. Related: If Republicans watch Fox News or OANN, it has a lot to do with whether they get vaccinated. Read more. Related: Whether Republicans get vaccinated has a lot to do with watching Fox News or OANN. Read more. It is more common for someone to be of color the younger they are. Therefore, it's not surprising that Black and Hispanic Americans have lower rates of vaccination than non-Hispanic white Americans. The Economist/YouGov's latest weekly survey found that less than half of Black adults and more than 60% of white adults were fully vaccinated. Even if you add those who are currently vaccinated/plan to become vaccinated to the mix, more white Americans than Black and Hispanic Americans are either fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or are planning to get vaccinated. People of color are not reluctant to get the vaccine. In April, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that more Black and Hispanic adults were not vaccinated than white adults. They didn't know when or where they could get it. KFF's June survey found that unvaccinated persons of color were significantly more likely to claim they haven't received the vaccine due to lack of time or fear about missing work. PRRI also found that Black Americans were slightly less likely than Americans to report that transportation or child care was a barrier to getting vaccines. It seems like there could be more awareness about minor side effects. KFF discovered that 60% of Hispanic adults and 55% of Black adults were worried about side effects in June, slightly higher than the 51% of white adults. A slightly higher percentage of people of color claimed that they were hesitant about getting vaccinated due to their history of being treated inequitably. Other than race, age and partisanship, there are many other complicating factors. Socioeconomic status also plays a part. KFF's June survey revealed that 4 out 5 college graduates received at least one dose of vaccine compared to 3 out 5 for those who did not have a degree. White Americans also have a gap in education. A survey by The Economist/YouGov found that approximately 80 percent of college-educated white Americans had been fully immunized, compared to 55 percent for those without a college degree. Only 52 percent of people earning less than $50,000 reported that they had been fully vaccinated. This compares with 63% of those earning $50,000-$100,000 and 72% of those who make $100,000 or more. Recap: Americans are complicated. There is still hope to get more people vaccinated. PRRI found that half of people who were reluctant to get the vaccine became more open to the idea that the vaccine would protect their lives, protect the most vulnerable in their communities, and allow them to visit loved ones and friends. KFF's June survey found that other changes could encourage more people to get vaccinated. These include the use of mobile vaccine units in undervaccinated areas, implementing vaccine lotteries, and offering free child care throughout the recovery and vaccination process. We still have a lot of work to do and many more people will be seriously ill before we reach our goal. It is easy to imagine that a new deadly COVID-19 outbreak could spur more Americans to get the vaccine. People of color, younger and less wealthy than whites, may be at greater risk of getting the vaccine because they are more likely to not have been vaccinated. Additional polling bites Biden approval FiveThirtyEights Presidential Approval Tracker shows that 51.4 percent of Americans approve and 43.3 percent disapprove of Biden's job as president (a net approval rating +8.1). Last week's approval ratings were 52.2 percent and 42.8 percent respectively (a net approval rating +9.4 points). Biden's approval rating was 52.7 percent while his disapproval rating was 41.9 percent a month ago. This net approval rating is +10.8 points. Are Americans worried about inflation? FiveThirtyEight Imagine America had many more political parties. FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast