Who’s not getting vax’d and why
This is hardly an exhaustive treatment of a complex topic—just a quick attempt to illuminate who isn’t getting vaccinated against covid-19 and why. I started looking at these stats after a Twitter exchange and I thought I’d share the resulting graphics. The stats are drawn from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey—health table 5a, two-week period ending December 13, for those who are keeping score at home.
First, vaccination rates by income. Almost 80% of people in the lowest income category, report having gotten at least one shot—51% have gotten two and 22% have gotten three. This is the lowest of any income category, and the share rises as you go up the income ladder. It tops off at 95% who’ve gotten at least one shot among the $200,000+ set. (The under-$25,000 group accounts for 12% of the population; over $200,000, 6%.) Over half, 55%, have gotten three. By the way, racial gaps have largely disappeared; 82% of blacks and 84% of whites have been vaccinated.
And now a closer look at vaccine refusers—the share saying they will probably or certainly never take a shot. The highest share of refusers are in the lowest income bracket. Here the gradient isn’t as steep as with vaccination rates: about 9% of the bottom two income categories are determined never to take the needle, as are 7% of the next three. Then it starts falling, bottoming out at 4% of the richest group. In all categories, “definitely” exceeds the “probably” by 2–3 times.
And now reasons for not getting vaccinated. On the left, you often hear it said that difficulties getting a shot (sorry, can’t say “jab”) or worries about cost are important factors, but they’re way down on the bottom of this survey. Fear of side-effects, distrust of vaccines and/or the government, and belief in one’s invincibility are far more prominent reasons. Given these reasons, it’s not clear how persuadable the hard-core resisters would be with mere argument.