COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the United States
|Part of a series on the|
COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the United States is the sociocultural phenomenon of individuals refusing or displaying hesitance towards receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the United States can be considered as part of the broader history of vaccine hesitancy.
Vaccine hesitancy in the United States towards the COVID-19 vaccines has existed since the early stages of the vaccines' development. COVID-19 vaccine-hesitant people are not necessarily anti-vaccine.
Soon after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, preexisting anti-vaxxer social networks started online and in-person campaigns to discredit the developing COVID-19 vaccines targeting United States citizens. Anti-vaccination influencers used Twitter and other social media platforms to spread vaccine misinformation. Some in the medical field have given false credibility to vaccine hesitant beliefs. This caused the Federation of State Medical Boards to issue a statement in July 2021 that any physicians who generate and spread vaccine misinformation or disinformation would risk disciplinary action.
President Donald Trump's initial public vaccine hesitancy fueled vaccine skepticism among Republican voters. White House sources revealed in March 2021 that Trump and his wife, Melania, had secretly received the COVID-19 vaccine in January. In April 2021, Trump referred to the COVID-19 vaccine as a "true miracle" and encouraged his supporters to take it. In September 2021, Trump revealed to journalist Adam Shapiro that he received the Pfizer version of the vaccine and encouraged the general public to take the vaccine. In the same interview, Trump blamed president Biden for the public's lack of trust in the vaccine: "When I was president, everybody wanted to get the vaccine... after I left, people don't want to take it and... I think it's because they don't trust Biden." In December 2021, Trump called the vaccine "one of the greatest achievements of mankind"; commentators on MSNBC's Morning Joe called his statements politically motivated, with Al Sharpton comparing Trump's walking back of support for fringe views to moonwalking.
Ipsos polling data shows that vaccine hesitancy dropped from 63% in September 2020 to 20% in September 2021. The change was accompanied by COVID-19 fatigue, the Delta variant surge, and the FDA's formal approval of the Pfizer vaccine.
Anti-vaccine public figures who died from COVID-19
In August 2021, a number of conservative talk radio hosts who had discouraged COVID-19 vaccination, or expressed skepticism toward the COVID-19 vaccine, died from COVID-19 complications. These included Marc Bernier (self-nicknamed "Mr. Antivax") from Daytona, Florida; Dick Farrel, an anti-vaccine activist who referred to the pandemic as a "SCAM DEMIC"; Jimmy DeYoung Sr.; and Phil Valentine. In September 2021, another anti-vaccine conservative radio host, Bob Enyart, died of COVID-19. In November 2021, Marcus Lamb, an American televangelist and co-founder of the Daystar Television Network, who promoted skepticism toward all vaccines, died of COVID-19. Anti-vaccine podcaster Doug Kuzma fell ill shortly after attending the right-wing conference "ReAwaken America" in December 2021 and died of COVID-19 the following month.
Kelly Ernby, a 46-year old deputy district attorney in Orange County, California who was also a California state assembly candidate and a critic of vaccine mandates, died January 2022 of COVID-19; she was not vaccinated. Kelly Canon, an anti-vaccine activist in Arlington, Texas, also died of COVID-19 in January 2022. Washington state trooper Robert LeMay was fired in October 2021 after refusing to be vaccinated despite a state mandate. He explained his position in a video that became popular online, and he died of COVID-19 in January 2022.
The reasons for hesitancy towards COVID-19 vaccine are complex and vary between individuals. They include concerns about side effects of the vaccination, wanting to wait to see if the vaccine is safe, misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines promulgated by conspiracy theories, including incorrect beliefs about vaccines containing microchips, intentional side effects, infertility, and permanent genetic alteration. The belief that previous exposure to virus gives "natural immunity" is also common. Additional reasons for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy include fears about long-term health risks of vaccination, belief in the strength of the body's immune system without the vaccine, mistrust in government, and mistrust in mainstream medicine and institutions. Gubernatorial edicts against vaccine mandates, as in Texas, also play a role.
There have been many lawsuits seen throughout the United States aimed against the vaccine mandates that were implemented in 2021. Two Staff Sergeants, one from the Army the other from the Marines, sued three federal agencies against their plans to conduct mandatory vaccination of all military troops, as military regulations state that troops can be exempted from vaccination showing documented previous infection. After the announcement of President Joe Biden of a country wide vaccine mandate in September 2021, many organizations and politicians such as the Republican National Committee, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich stated they would sue the administration.
Generally litigation for vaccine injury claims against manufacturers are filed with the United States Court of Federal Claims, sitting without a jury and compensation is provided by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) was invoked for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID–19 on March 17, 2020. Under the PREP Act the HHS secretary provides legal protection to manufacturers of vaccines and treatments, unless there's willful misconduct, barring liability cases from vaccine injury despite low payout rates from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
Survey research of medical professionals in the United States shows a majority of the medical community accepts and trusts the COVID-19 vaccines. Medical professionals in the United States are vaccinated at a higher rate than the general public they serve. For example, in August 2021 in Alabama, it was estimated 50-60% of hospital staff were vaccinated compared to a <35% vaccination rate for the total state population. Regional vaccination rate in health care professionals parallels that of the local community, where states with higher vaccination rates have higher instances of vaccinated health care workers. In July 2021, the Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit American academic medical center with over 60,000 employees, announced they would require staff to get vaccinated.
A group of physicians joined parents and disability advocates in 2021 to form the No License for Disinformation group, which files complaints to the corresponding states medical boards against doctors who have spread false Covid statements.
Active duty and reserve forces
From December 2020 through March 2021, 361,538 service members, or 27.2 percent of the active-duty military, received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. As of August 2021, over 1,000,000 active-duty and reserve forces were at least partially vaccinated. Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, vaccination rates have varied between the branches of the United States Armed Forces from the 74% rate in the Navy to the closer to 50% rate in the Army. On August 25, 2021, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, ordered mandatory vaccinations for most of the country's active duty and reserve forces, directing each branch "to impose ambitious timelines for implementation and to report regularly on vaccination completion using established systems for other mandatory vaccine reporting." The US military will require service members to get the COVID-19 vaccine by September 15, 2021.
In response to the vaccine mandate, an Army staff sergeant and a Marine staff sergeant sued various federal government agencies to grant exemptions on mandatory COVID vaccinations for those who've had the virus. As of September 2021, a judge did not grant a temporary block on mandatory vaccinations and the suit will continue through normal court procedures.
In July 2021, the Department of Veterans Affairs mandated the COVID-19 vaccines for its more than 100,000 front-line workers, becoming the first federal agency to do so. The VA is working with the American Legion on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy outreach. On August 28, 2021, during the national convention of the American Legion, speaker Carolyn Clancy, the VA's Assistant Under Secretary for Health, described COVID-19 as an unprecedented public health emergency and encouraged vaccinated veterans to reach out to their peers who are vaccine-hesitant. Clancy also described how 70 VA facilities were part of the vaccine trials during Operation Warp Speed, participation, she said, veterans should be "quite proud of."
As of July 1, 2021, of the 380,000 people who work for the Department of Veterans Affairs, 298,186 are fully vaccinated, or 78 percent, a percentage higher than the national average but below what VA officials want for those providing health care. As of July 1, 2021, 20,300 V.A. employees have contracted the coronavirus since March 2020. In late July 2021, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough released a press release announcing he will make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for Title 38 VA health care personnel.
In Spring 2021, as vaccines became available to professional athletes, several professional leagues encountered substantial vaccine hesitancy among players. In August 2021 the Atlanta Falcons, a football team located in Atlanta, Georgia, became the first NFL team to report being fully vaccinated. In September, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the second NFL team to report being fully vaccinated. The NFL's then-most recent MVP Aaron Rodgers was one of football's most prominent players to speak out against the vaccines and the league's protocols and was subsequently fined by the league for comments he made to the media.
In July 2021, the National Basketball Association announced that 90% of NBA players were vaccinated. Kyrie Irving refused vaccination and was barred from participating. In June 2021, Major League Baseball announced that two-thirds of the MLB teams had reached 85% vaccination rate. Upon the start of the 2021–2022 National Hockey League season, the league announced that over 99% of NHL players were vaccinated. As of December 2021, Tyler Bertuzzi is the only player who has remained unvaccinated.
In July 2021, the state of California and the city of New York announced a requirement for state employees to either get vaccinated or face weekly testing. As of July 2021, the Biden administration seeks to increase the vaccination rate of federal employees. As part of this vaccination effort, the administration required all contractors working for the federal government to get vaccinated or submit to regular testing and masking.
- "Anti-Vaxxers Wage Campaigns Against COVID-19 Shots". WebMD. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- "COVID-19 approved vaccination willingness adults U.S. July 2021". Statista. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Yong, Ed (July 22, 2021). "America Is Getting Unvaccinated People All Wrong". The Atlantic. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- "Study indicates Donald Trump was the main anti-vaccination influencer on Twitter in 2020". PsyPost. June 8, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Brumfiel, Geoff (September 14, 2021). "This Doctor Spread False Information About COVID. She Still Kept Her Medical License". NPR.org. Retrieved September 30, 2021.
- Aldhous, Peter (September 29, 2021). "Doctors Are Attacking COVID Vaccines And Promoting Bogus Cures — And Getting Away With It". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on September 29, 2021. Retrieved September 30, 2021.
- Jackson, Matthew Brown and David. "Donald Trump, Melania Trump secretly received COVID-19 vaccine in January". USA TODAY. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- "Trumps Privately Got Vaccinated Before Leaving the White House". Bloomberg.com. March 1, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Parrott, Jeff (April 23, 2021). "Former President Donald Trump tells Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine, calls it a 'true miracle'". Deseret News. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- "Trump got Pfizer vaccine, would get booster if 'felt it was necessary'". The Jerusalem Post. October 3, 2021. Archived from the original on October 3, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
- "Trump appears to make political calculation in praise for Covid vaccines". MSNBC.com. December 27, 2021. Event occurs at 4:30. Archived from the original on December 27, 2021. Retrieved January 16, 2022.
- Milman, Oliver (June 3, 2020). "Scientists alarmed as Trump embraces fringe views and extreme theories amid pandemic". The Guardian. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020. Retrieved January 16, 2022.
- Mastrangelo, Dominick (August 31, 2021). "Percentage of Americans who say they won't get vaccinated drops to record low in new poll". TheHill. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
- Sicha, Choire (August 16, 2021). "How Mean Should We Be to Each Other?". Intelligencer. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- Smerconish, Michael (January 15, 2022), Official who argued against vaccines dies from Covid-19 and sparks big reaction online - CNN Video, retrieved January 16, 2022
- Martin, James (January 30, 2022). "Opinion | How Do You Respond When an Anti-Vaxxer Dies of Covid?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
- Farhi, Paul (September 1, 2021). "Four conservative radio talk-show hosts bashed coronavirus vaccines. Then they got sick". Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 1, 2021. Retrieved September 20, 2021.
- Gabbatt, Adam (September 21, 2021). "Dangerous transmissions: anti-vax radio shows reach millions in US while stars die of Covid". The Guardian. Archived from the original on September 21, 2021. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
- "Anti-Vax Radio Hosts Keep Dying From COVID". Vanity Fair. September 3, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Montgomery, Blake (August 17, 2021). "Christian Radio Host Who Called Vaccine 'Government Control' Dies of COVID-19". The Daily Beast. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Rose, Andy. "Conservative talk show host Phil Valentine dies after battle with Covid-19, his employer says". CNN.com. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Ellington, Andre J. (September 13, 2021). "Conservative radio host Bob Enyart who fought COVID restrictions in court dies of COVID". Newsweek. Archived from the original on September 14, 2021. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
- Hassan, Carma (December 1, 2021). "Christian television network founder and preacher Marcus Lamb, who discouraged vaccinations, dies after being hospitalized for Covid-19". CNN.
Prominent Christian televangelist and anti-vaccine advocate Marcus Lamb died after being hospitalized with Covid-19, his family announced ... Marcus Lamb often spoke out against the Covid-19 vaccines on his show. ... Lamb said the Covid-19 vaccine was "not really a vaccine," but an "an experimental shot" that was "dangerous. Marcus Lamb alleged that people were dying or having neurological disorders from the vaccine. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say Covid-19 vaccines "are safe and effective" and that any adverse events after vaccination "are rare but may occur."
- Fernando, Christine (December 1, 2021). "Marcus Lamb, founder of Christian network Daystar and vaccine opponent, dies after contracting COVID-19". USA Today.
He called ivermectin ... a "miracle drug." ... The Lamb family and Daystar have ... promoted misinformation about the virus and vaccines.
- Lincoln, Ross A (December 1, 2021). "Marcus Lamb, Anti-Vaccine Christian Broadcaster, Dies of COVID-19 at 64". Yahoo!.
- Papenfuss, Mary (January 7, 2022). "Anti-Vax Podcaster Doug Kuzma Dies Of COVID-19 After Attending Right-Wing Rally". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
- Fry, Hannah (January 6, 2022). "Kelly Ernby stood against vaccine mandates. Her death from COVID made her a symbol". Los Angeles Times.
Ernby ... was not vaccinated against COVID-19 when she died earlier this week, according to friends. ... even before the pandemic [, in] late 2019, she spoke publicly against a new California law tightening immunization rules for California schoolchildren.
- Harvey, Josephine (January 12, 2022). "GOP Activist Who Opposed COVID-19 Vaccine Rules Dies After Virus Complications". HuffPost. Archived from the original on January 12, 2022. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
- Thomas, Phil (January 29, 2022). "Trooper who told governor to 'kiss my ass' over vaccine dies of Covid". The Independent. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
- Nguyen, Kimberly H. (2021). "COVID-19 Vaccination Intent, Perceptions, and Reasons for Not Vaccinating Among Groups Prioritized for Early Vaccination — United States, September and December 2020". MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 70 (6): 217–222. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7006e3. ISSN 0149-2195. PMC 7877585. PMID 33571174.
- South, Todd (September 3, 2021). "Soldier, Marine lawsuit challenges mandatory COVID vaccinations for those who've had the virus". Navy Times. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Mandavilli, Apoorva (December 5, 2020). "'Natural Immunity' From Covid Is Not Safer Than a Vaccine". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Analysis by Harry Enten. "How long-standing mistrust of government is hurting our vaccination efforts". CNN. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Jaiswal, J.; LoSchiavo, C.; Perlman, D. C. (May 21, 2020). "Disinformation, Misinformation and Inequality-Driven Mistrust in the Time of COVID-19: Lessons Unlearned from AIDS Denialism". AIDS and Behavior. 24 (10): 2776–2780. doi:10.1007/s10461-020-02925-y. ISSN 1090-7165. PMC 7241063. PMID 32440972.
- "Texas governor bars vaccine mandates in state as deaths approach 70,000". the Guardian. Associated Press. October 12, 2021.
- Young, Saundra. "Black Vaccine Hesitancy Rooted in Mistrust, Doubts". WebMD.
- "For some Black Americans, vaccine hesitancy is just one part of a legacy of mistrust". the Guardian. August 20, 2021.
- South, Todd (September 3, 2021). "Soldier, Marine lawsuit challenges mandatory COVID vaccinations for those who've had the virus". Army Times. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
- Palmer, Ewan (September 10, 2021). "Joe Biden faces an avalanche of vaccine mandate lawsuits". Newsweek. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
- "Declaration Under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID-19". Federal Register. March 17, 2020. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
- "PREP Act Guidance - Guidance for Department of Defense Personnel, Contractors, and Volunteers Regarding COVID-19 Vaccines and Immunity under the PREP Act". Public Health Emergency. March 17, 2020. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
- "PREP Act Immunity from Liability for COVID-19 Vaccinators". Public Health Emergency. March 17, 2020. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
- Sigalos, MacKenzie (December 17, 2020). "You can't sue Pfizer or Moderna if you have severe Covid vaccine side effects. The government likely won't compensate you for damages either". CNBC. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
- Lucia, Victoria C; Kelekar, Arati; Afonso, Nelia M (December 26, 2020). "COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among medical students". Journal of Public Health (Oxford, England). 43 (3): 445–449. doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdaa230. ISSN 1741-3842. PMC 7799040. PMID 33367857.
- "Survey: Nurses largely on board with COVID-19 vaccines but want more info on boosters, long-term safety". FierceHealthcare. August 18, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- "Vaccination rates among hospital staffs in Alabama likely '50-60%'". al. August 8, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- "More than half of all Americans now fully vaccinated, Alabama far behind". al. August 8, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- "'A tipping point': Government officials, health groups move to require coronavirus vaccines for workers". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Venhuizen, Harm (May 17, 2021). "COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy higher among soldiers, Black service members, study shows". Military Times. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- SHRM-SCP, Lisa Nagele-Piazza, J. D.; SHRM-SCP, Lisa Nagele-Piazza, J. D. (August 11, 2021). "U.S. Military to Require COVID-19 Vaccines for Service Members". SHRM. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- "Navy, Marine Corps Issue Policy, Deadlines for Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations for Active, Reserve Forces". USNI News. September 1, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- "Veterans Health Care | The American Legion". www.legion.org. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Affairs, Office of Public and Intergovernmental. "News Releases - Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs". www.va.gov. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Beer, Tommy. "NFL Encountering Substantial Vaccine Hesitancy Among Players". Forbes. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Lacques, Gabe. "MLB faces a major hurdle in COVID-19 battle: Players hesitant to get the vaccine". USA TODAY. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- "Falcons become 1st 100% vaccinated NFL team". ESPN.com. August 16, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- The Athletic Staff. "Buccaneers become second NFL team to reach 100 percent COVID-19 vaccination rate". The Athletic. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Van Valkenburg, Kevin (January 21, 2022). "The unfiltered year of Aaron Rodgers". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 21, 2022.
- "NBPA executive director Michele Roberts: 90% of NBA players vaccinated". ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports. July 21, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- "Nets won't play Irving until he meets vaccine requirement". AP NEWS. October 12, 2021. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
- "20 MLB teams hit vaccination rate, relax protocols". ESPN.com. June 4, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- "NHL announces that all but 4 players are vaccinated". NPR. October 13, 2021. Retrieved January 22, 2022.
- "Latest updates on the NHL and COVID-19". ESPN. December 16, 2021. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
- "Biden orders tough new vaccination rules for federal workers". AP NEWS. July 29, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
- Steinhauer, Jennifer (July 29, 2021). "As Biden Moves to Vaccinate Federal Workers, Troops Get a Pass". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
Media files used on this page
Author/Creator: Alexey Solodovnikov (Idea, Producer, CG, Editor), Valeria Arkhipova (Scientific Сonsultant), Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Scientifically accurate atomic model of the external structure of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a strain (genetic variant) of the coronavirus that caused Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), first identified in Wuhan, China, during December 2019
Each separate locus (amorphous blob) is an atom of: