The good news: As I discussed last week, the vaccines are widely available, and the overwhelming majority of people who want a vaccine have one. Asked if they plan to take a vaccine “if it becomes available,” 64 percent say they’ve already been vaccinated, 7 percent say they plan to take it, and 23 percent say they are refusing.
(The rest are still unsure. I imagine people who have their first shot, but not the second, mostly give the “already been” answer.)
The bad news: We right-wingers are holding out an awful lot. Only 45 percent of Republicans say they’ve been vaccinated, vs. 83 percent of Democrats. And while that gap may seem implausibly large, state-by-state data from Johns Hopkins suggest there’s definitely something going on here. There’s an obvious link between states’ partisanship and their vaccination rates. Southern states mostly have around around 25 or 30 percent of their populations “fully vaccinated,” for example, while northeastern states lead the pack, with several having rates above 40 percent. (The denominators here include kids too young to get a vaccine.)
Get the shot, people! It’s safe and effective. And while I, personally, am done supporting COVID restrictions no matter what you do — if you choose not to get the vaccine, the consequences are your problem — government officials in many states will use infection rates as an excuse for further measures. It’s our best, indeed only, way out of this mess.