Myths and truths about covid-19 vaccines 4:21
. – Just over half of Americans not vaccinated against COVID-19 still believe that the vaccine is more dangerous than the coronavirus. This is so despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
Unvaccinated adults still largely believe that the media has exaggerated the severity of the pandemic, and vaccinated adults are less likely to wear a mask in public, according to the ongoing survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The health-focused nonprofit group surveyed 1,500 American adults between July 15 and July 27 for this chapter of their survey. They reported little change among those with the hardest attitudes about vaccination.
About 14% of those surveyed say they will “definitely not” get vaccinated, the same proportion as in December.
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Unvaccinated and the myths
“Among those who say they ‘definitely won’t’ get a vaccine, 75% say the news is exaggerated. The markedly different views of vaccinated and unvaccinated help explain the controversy in ongoing political debates about the mandates of the vaccines, “KFF said in its report.
Only 23% of adults who have not yet been vaccinated say they believe vaccines are very or extremely effective in preventing death, despite strong evidence that they are.
“A narrow majority (53%) of unvaccinated adults believe that the vaccine poses a greater risk to their health than COVID-19 itself,” Kaiser said. “In contrast, an overwhelming majority (88%) of vaccinated adults say that becoming infected with COVID-19 is a greater risk to their health than the vaccine.”
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“The increase in covid-19 cases and the news of the spread of the delta variant in the US has made some people say that they are more likely to wear a mask in public or avoid large gatherings. Although this is mainly due to vaccinated adults, “KFF said.
“Watching your friends get sick and local hospitals re-filling with covid patients can speed up (the vaccination process) and increase the number (of vaccinated),” KFF President and CEO Drew Altman said in a statement.
The survey found that 57% of unvaccinated people said the media “generally exaggerated” the impact of the pandemic. Meanwhile, three-quarters of vaccinated adults said that the media “in general were right” (53%) or even “underestimated” its severity (24%).
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Among vaccinated adults, 53% say they wear a mask in grocery stores and other closed places, compared to 44% of unvaccinated adults.
“These differences are largely driven by unvaccinated Republicans. Most Republicans say they ‘never’ wear a mask in crowded places outside, at work or in a grocery store,” KFF said.
Immunizations, masks and federal regulations
A quarter of unvaccinated people, 8% of all adults, say they are likely to get vaccinated before the end of the year.
But 10% of adults who remain unvaccinated say they want to “wait and see” how the vaccine works for other people before getting vaccinated. Another 3% say they will be immunized “only if necessary.” But that’s down from June’s 6%.
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The survey found that people were divided on whether the federal government should recommend that employers require vaccinations among their employees. Half said the federal government should recommend that employers require staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a medical exception.
Three-quarters of Democrats support a vaccination order for federal employees, while two-thirds of Republicans oppose the idea.