Poll: Most unvaccinated have no intention of getting a shot

(AP Photo/Will Kincaid,File)

Even if Joe Biden succeeds in sending people door to door with needles and vials, a new poll from the Associated Press indicates that a vast majority of America’s unvaccinated citizens will be responding with the same answer. That’s going to be a hard “nope.” These results support anecdotal evidence we’ve been seeing in various reports for the past couple of months. We’re clearly not seeing a situation where people are having trouble getting a shot if they want one. Four out of five unvaccinated respondents said that they will either definitely not be rolling up their sleeves or they are unlikely to do so. Conversely, only three percent said they definitely planned to get a shot at some point but haven’t gotten around to it for some reason.

Most Americans who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 say they are unlikely to get the shots and doubt they would work against the aggressive delta variant despite evidence they do, according to a new poll that underscores the challenges facing public health officials amid soaring infections in some states.

Among American adults who have not yet received a vaccine, 35% say they probably will not, and 45% say they definitely will not, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Just 3% say they definitely will get the shots, though another 16% say they probably will.

An 80 to 19 disparity isn’t even close. And the split between “definitely” and “maybe” leans toward the extremes as well. 35% are saying they “probably” won’t get the shot, but 45% are drawing a line in the sand. And among those who are still leaning toward being vaccinated, respondents were more than five times as likely to say “probably” than “definitely,” indicating that they still haven’t made up their minds.

One clear reason given for taking a pass on the vaccinations is that most of these people simply don’t believe that the vaccinations will be effective, particularly against the Delta variant. 64% of unvaccinated Americans registered “little to no confidence” that the vaccines will save them from Delta or the other new variants. That figure is really at odds with most of the results provided by the CDC. We’re seeing more breakthrough cases among vaccinated people than was originally predicted, but they’re still vastly less likely to die or wind up in an ICU bed than the unvaccinated.

Speaking of the CDC, am I the only one getting the impression that the agency’s complete inability to promote a consistent, transparent message is what’s shooting them in the foot? Getting information out to the public during a crisis is an important responsibility shared by both the government and the media, but it has to be done in an accurate, consistent fashion. If we didn’t have Fauci moving the goalposts every five minutes and media mavens going back and forth on whether masks are needed or not, perhaps people would have a bit more confidence in the information they’re receiving. If you want people to have faith in your decisions you need to at least make some sort of effort to convince us that you actually know what the hell you’re talking about.

It seemed inevitable from the beginning that this debate was going to become politicized. (Because everything is these days.) While the majority of those taking a pass on being vaccinated are raising justifiable questions about the efficacy and long-term safety of the shots, there have been some conspiracy theories cropping up (secret nanochips being an example) that are worrisome. Meanwhile, primarily among liberals, vaccines and masks have become the equivalent of religious totems. If you don’t wish to roll up your sleeve or cover your face, you are a minion of evil trying to kill everyone else for your own secret, sinister reasons.

This is now clearly a situation where we’re no longer talking about a problem of “reaching” enough people to get them vaccinated. Anybody who wants a vaccination has to do little more than raise their hand and people will literally be rushing to their doorstep to give them a shot. Forcing people to receive unwanted medical treatment is a tyrannical move. More than half of the eligible people in the country are vaccinated at this point and that may be the number we’re going to be stuck with for the foreseeable future. As for the rest, as I’ve said here repeatedly, they will likely encounter some version of the virus sooner or later. 99% of those people will survive and develop their own antibodies. This really doesn’t need to turn into a civil war.