Unvaccinated Americans’ already low trust in the federal government plummeted over the course of 2021, exacerbating the challenges in getting the pandemic under control, according to a year’s worth of data from the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.
Why it matters: The implications extend beyond shots and boosters. Unvaccinated Americans in our surveys were far less likely to limit their social interactions or to wear masks outside the home, which correlated significantly with their reported rates of COVID-19 infection.
What we’re watching: Republicans and Black Americans make up two disproportionately high segments of the unvaccinated population — but the survey found they’re managing that decision in dramatically different ways.
Black Americans reported much higher levels of mask use, social distancing and trust in the federal government regardless of their vaccination status. That suggests they take the virus seriously even as many struggle with hesitancy about vaccines and the historical connections to racism and medical experimentation.