SURVEY: Who are the unvaccinated?


FILE – Syringes with doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, are shown next to vaccination cards March 13, 2021, in Seattle. The District of Columbia government is imposing a series of COVID-19 vaccine mandates as it intensifies virus protocols in response to spiraling infection numbers and the march of the omicron variant. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

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WASHINGTON (NEWS10) — On Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau released the results of its latest Household Pulse Survey to break down the raw numbers of people who remain unvaccinated. According to the CDC, they represent about 15% of Americans—and of those, about 42% reported that they “don’t trust the COVID-19 vaccine.”

The CDC’s COVID tracker accounts for the unvaccinated as follows:

Age group1-doseFull seriesBooster
≥5 years old242,393,174
≥12 years old235,862,581
≥18 years old219,931,775
≥65 years old55,756,987

With roughly 27% of Americans unvaccinated—never having received a single dose of any vaccine—that’s roughly 90 million people. According to the Census, they have many different reasons for avoiding the jab.

The Census survey unvaccinated adults who could select more than one reason. About half—over 44 million—said they were worried about side effects, and under 10% said their doctor hadn’t recommended it. Meanwhile, about 2% reported not being vaccinated because they lacked easy access.

Why adults 18 and over did not get covid-19 vaccine

Age, education, marital status

By and large, according to the Census, unvaccinated adults were younger and had lower levels of education than those who had been vaccinated. About three-fourths of the unvaccinated were 50, compared to less than half under 50 among the vaccinated. Respondents with at least one dose were twice as likely to have at least a college degree. The unvaccinated were also 10% more likely to be unmarried.

Race and ethnicity

The Census reports that the proportion of unvaccinated and vaccinated adults were roughly the same among Hispanic and non-Hispanic White adults. But among non-Hispanic Black adults, 13% were unvaccinated, compared to 11% who were vaccinated. And among non-Hispanic Asian adults, 6% were vaccinated and only 1% were not.

Hard to reach

Most of the unvaccinated people who took the survey based their positions on a lack of information and trust. But the Census specifically profiled those who said it’s too difficult for them to get vaccinated. Generally, they were likelier to be:

  • Non-white
  • Unmarried
  • Less educated
  • Poor
  • Disabled

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