The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now say it is safe for fully vaccinated Americans to travel. But those most willing to travel right now may reject much else that the CDC suggests.
In the latest Economist/YouGov poll, three in 10 Americans who have received at least one vaccinate shot (29%) believe it is safe for them to travel within the United States today. By contrast, half of the one in four Americans who reject the vaccine believe it is safe for them to venture out now.
Half of those who reject vaccines (52%) also say it is safe for them today to socialize (compared to just 30% of all Americans). Another 45% say it is safe for them to go without a mask now. Just one in five Americans overall (21%) think it is safe to go maskless today.
Many vaccine rejectors have little confidence in advice from leading national medical figures, like the CDC or Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Instead, nearly half in this group trust advice from former President Donald Trump. Only 21% of vaccine rejectors trust advice from the CDC, and just 13% trust medical advice from Dr. Fauci.
For the most part, vaccine rejectors believe there is little risk to themselves from COVID-19. Half (51%) rarely (29%) or never (22%) wear a mask in public; just 29% are even somewhat worried they might contract COVID-19, and 41% are not worried at all.
This is the case even though many vaccine rejectors have experienced COVID-19 in their own circle. Half of vaccine rejectors have a close friend (25%) or family member (27%) who tested positive. One in nine (11%) say they themselves have been diagnosed with the virus (this group may consider themselves immune after infection, though the length of any immunity after a positive diagnosis is not yet clear).
Vaccine rejection and skepticism is entwined in politics. Vaccine rejection is five times higher among Republicans (40%) than among Democrats (8%). There is a success story among those 65 and older, however. Eight in ten senior citizens (82%) say they will be vaccinated (15%) or already have been (67%).
Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between April 3 - 6, 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 2.8% for the overall sample