To be or not to be vaccinated has become an ongoing debate in the USA. Red or Republican states tend to be either anti-vaxx, or at least skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccines available, while blue or Democratic states tend to be more welcoming of COVID-19 vaccinations. More specifically, a September 2021 Gallup survey detailed that when breaking down vaccination rates along party lines, the breakdown was about 92% Democrat, 68% Independent, and 56% Republican. In such a divisive environment, it’s useful to understand arguments from both sides to make the best decision for yourself.
For many of the 80 million Americans who are unvaccinated, it’s by choice, rather than circumstance. Their disinterest in getting a COVID-19 vaccine is typically due to a range of factors, ranging from distrust of the government, skepticism about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, or even the deadliness of COVID-19. Another common factor is autonomy — Americans should be able to exercise their freedom to decide what they do or don’t do with their own bodies. For some, it’s a combination of all of the above. Interestingly, for the unvaccinated Americans who state they are not interested in getting the COVID-19 vaccine at any time, they’re 65% white, 44% make less than $44,000 annually, 77% are insured, 19% have college degrees or more. It’s a stark portrait of much of middle America and the South.
In contrast, for the 194 million Americans who have chosen to get vaccinated, the vast majority believe in the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine, that the dangers of COVID-19 are real, and that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is in their best interest in terms of their own health, the health of loved ones, and even going out and about freely. After all, in many states throughout the US, employers, shops, and other public and semi-public places allow vaccinated individuals to go mask free, while the unvaccinated must still wear their masks. It’s the convenience and comfort of not having to wear a mask whenever you’re outside your home. In terms of demographics, states with the highest rates of vaccination across all age, racial, and educational factors include New York, New Jersey, California, and Vermont — notoriously blue or Democratic states. While that probably isn’t shocking to people who follow American politics, it doesn’t make the decision about whether to get vaccinated any easier. It’s a tough choice, but one that everyone has to make for themselves.