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Partisan divide persists over updated COVID shots

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A heavy partisan divide is looming over the new COVID-19 vaccines, underscoring the deep political schism over the shots, according to a new poll.

The poll, from Morning Consult and Politico, finds that a majority of Americans are willing to consider getting new COVID-19 vaccines, but that a large minority are solidly against receiving the shots.

Predictably, it is Democrats who will generally get the shots, per the poll, and Republicans who say they will not.

Fifty-seven percent of U.S. registered voters said they will get a new COVID-19 shot sometime this year, according to the poll, including 37 percent who said they “definitely” plan to receive it. 

Meanwhile, 43 percent of voters said they would not get the new vaccine, with 27 percent saying they “definitely” do not plan to get one.

The survey was released the same week the updated vaccines were given the green light by federal health officials for all Americans at least six months old, and as COVID-19 cases have been steadily rising across the country.

But like almost every other COVID vaccine campaign in the last few years, Democrats were the ones who said they were willing to be vaccinated. Nearly 8 in 10 Democrats who responded to the poll said they would get the new shot, while only 39 percent of Republicans said the same.

The poll was conducted Sept. 9-10, just prior to the shots’ approval by the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC’s recommendation.

COVID vaccines have been the subject of increasing partisan attacks and disinformation campaigns from conservatives, led by right-wing media personalities as well as former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), one of his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination.

DeSantis and the state’s surgeon general Joseph Ladapo this week warned against anyone under age 65 getting the new vaccines. Ladapo has previously cast doubt on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 shots, and in March, federal health officials sent him a letter warning that his comments were fueling vaccine hesitancy and harming Florida’s seniors. 

While the poll numbers could be a cause for optimism, a person’s intention to get vaccinated doesn’t always translate into action. COVID-19 vaccination rates have dropped since the early days of 2021 as the worst days of the pandemic fade and a COVID-fatigued public moves on.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising, but the numbers are far below where they were at the height of the pandemic; infections are not surging, and hospitals are far from being overwhelmed like they were at the height of the pandemic.

Last year only about 17 percent of the population received a booster shot. In an effort to increase vaccinations, the administration is marketing the shot as an annual vaccine like the flu shot, rather than a booster.

An added hurdle this year is that for the first time members of the public will have to pay, as the federal government has handed off the purchase and distribution of the shots to the private sector. 

There could be barriers for the estimated 25 million to 30 million people without insurance. Without discounts, Pfizer said its shot will cost $120 per dose, Moderna said it will charge $129 per dose, and Novavax will charge $130 per dose. 

The poll was conducted among a representative sample of 1,967 U.S. registered voters, with margins of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



A heavy partisan divide is looming over the new COVID-19 vaccines, underscoring the deep political schism over the shots, according to a new poll.

The poll, from Morning Consult and Politico, finds that a majority of Americans are willing to consider getting new COVID-19 vaccines, but that a large minority are solidly against receiving the shots.

Predictably, it is Democrats who will generally get the shots, per the poll, and Republicans who say they will not.

Fifty-seven percent of U.S. registered voters said they will get a new COVID-19 shot sometime this year, according to the poll, including 37 percent who said they “definitely” plan to receive it. 

Meanwhile, 43 percent of voters said they would not get the new vaccine, with 27 percent saying they “definitely” do not plan to get one.

The survey was released the same week the updated vaccines were given the green light by federal health officials for all Americans at least six months old, and as COVID-19 cases have been steadily rising across the country.

But like almost every other COVID vaccine campaign in the last few years, Democrats were the ones who said they were willing to be vaccinated. Nearly 8 in 10 Democrats who responded to the poll said they would get the new shot, while only 39 percent of Republicans said the same.

The poll was conducted Sept. 9-10, just prior to the shots’ approval by the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC’s recommendation.

COVID vaccines have been the subject of increasing partisan attacks and disinformation campaigns from conservatives, led by right-wing media personalities as well as former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), one of his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination.

DeSantis and the state’s surgeon general Joseph Ladapo this week warned against anyone under age 65 getting the new vaccines. Ladapo has previously cast doubt on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 shots, and in March, federal health officials sent him a letter warning that his comments were fueling vaccine hesitancy and harming Florida’s seniors. 

While the poll numbers could be a cause for optimism, a person’s intention to get vaccinated doesn’t always translate into action. COVID-19 vaccination rates have dropped since the early days of 2021 as the worst days of the pandemic fade and a COVID-fatigued public moves on.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising, but the numbers are far below where they were at the height of the pandemic; infections are not surging, and hospitals are far from being overwhelmed like they were at the height of the pandemic.

Last year only about 17 percent of the population received a booster shot. In an effort to increase vaccinations, the administration is marketing the shot as an annual vaccine like the flu shot, rather than a booster.

An added hurdle this year is that for the first time members of the public will have to pay, as the federal government has handed off the purchase and distribution of the shots to the private sector. 

There could be barriers for the estimated 25 million to 30 million people without insurance. Without discounts, Pfizer said its shot will cost $120 per dose, Moderna said it will charge $129 per dose, and Novavax will charge $130 per dose. 

The poll was conducted among a representative sample of 1,967 U.S. registered voters, with margins of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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