Who Are The Unvaccinated?

I’ve wanted to understand the breakdown of the unvaccinated. How many are hard-core antivax and how many just haven’t gotten around to it for some reason? And who is in each category?

Here’s a source whose data I trust, but they’ve arranged the data in a particularly unhelpful way for my question.

They define a wait and see group, who want to “wait until it has been available for a while to see how it is working for other people” before getting vaccinated and a definitely not group. The wait-and-sees are 12% of American adults, and the definitely-not 13%. The wait-and-sees have been decreasing, but the definitely-not have stayed at 13%.

Compared to those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine, unvaccinated adults are younger, less educated, more likely to be Republicans, people of color, and uninsured. That’s what Figure 1 tells us, which is pretty much what I knew already. The figure has two profiles, of the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, broken down by age, race/ethnicity, party identification, and such. The text then compares the percentages in the two groups, which is not the best way to do it.

It also doesn’t answer my question, because my guess is that people of color are more likely to be waiting to see, whle Republicans are more likely to be hard-core definitely-not. Figure 2 gives profiles fo the two preference groups, and they more or less bear that out, without giving me the numbers I’d like.

It looks like the folks who aren’t getting the COVID-19 vaccine also don’t get the flu vaccine, pointing to a more general public health issue. The unvaccinated also tend to think the danger from COVID-19 is exaggerated and are not worried about getting the virus, with the definitely-nots harder over on this.

The data in the article Paul cites aren’t terribly different, as far as I can compare them. I’m all for getting the vaccines out to people rather than insisting the people come to them, but my overall takeaway from these data is that efforts like the vaccine block party aren’t going to be a gigantic factor. It will just be a slog until we’ve got everyone vaccinated that can be. The big jump will come when vaccines are approved for children under 12.

A side issue: The graphics in both articles are horrible. It took me several minutes to figure out what they showed, and I’m still not sure about the NYT graphic. That’s partly because my questions were not the same ones the surveyors were asking, or perhaps that I was asking in a different way.

No surprises, and my questions aren’t fully answered. But it does look like we’re making progress, although slowly. Presumably the wait-and-sees will continue to decide in favor of vaccination, although slowly, and likely even some of the definitely-nots, as they watch their companions die.

Cross-posted to Lawyers, Guns & Money

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