Vaccine rejectors believe it is safe to resume normal activities right now

May 14, 2021, 2:07 PM GMT+0

Most American adults are now en route to being fully vaccinated, with nearly half the public in the latest Economist/YouGov poll already there. Resistance and hesitancy towards the vaccine is anchored in one party, and those who reject the vaccine are skeptical of its safety and – for the most part – don’t see a need for it.

Three in four Democrats are either fully vaccinated (61%) or have started the process (15%). As of this week, only 13% of Democrats are unsure (6%) or rejecting vaccination (7%). But for Republicans, it is a different story. While just over half of Republicans are fully (44%) or partly vaccinated (10%), more than a third (37%) say they will either not get the vaccine (25%) or aren’t sure (12%).

The reasons for rejecting the vaccine are embedded in both beliefs and behavior. Most of the 10% who claim never to wear a facemask outdoors (a mostly GOP group) either reject becoming vaccinated (48%) or aren’t sure they will be (23%).

Beliefs may be hard to change, and since a majority of vaccine rejectors (54%) believe it is safe to resume normal activities right now — something only 22% of Americans think is the case — there may be no reason for them to take any action to protect themselves.

See the toplines and crosstabs from this Economist/YouGov poll

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between May 8 - 11, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 2.7% for the overall sample

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