Dec 15, 2020 - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: New enthusiasm for the shot

Data: Axios/Ipsos survey; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Axios/Ipsos survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

The share of Americans who say they'll get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it's available has doubled since September, with more than one in four now putting their hands up, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This increased comfort with or appetite for getting the vaccine is happening as the first Americans get vaccinated. It's being driven by people 65 and older, but it's happening across all age, party ID and racial and ethnic groups.

  • Trust in pharmaceutical companies rose to 43%, up from 35% in September.
  • The survey also offers some early evidence that as President Trump's voice recedes, Republicans may grow more willing to listen to institutions and science.

By the numbers: Overall, 27% of respondents in Wave 33 of our weekly national poll say they plan to get the vaccine as soon as it's available to them, up from 13% in September. Another 11% say they'll get it a few weeks after; 25% say a few months after; and 15% say they'll wait a year or longer.

  • 40% of Americans ages 65+ now say they'll take it as soon as it's available — a big jump from just 15% three months earlier.
  • No other group saw that big an increase. But Democrats' willingness doubled, from 15% to 31%, and Republicans' nearly tripled, from 9% to 25%.
  • Black Americans, wary because of historical examples of systemic racism, remain reluctant to get the vaccine early. Still, those who said they would jumped from 5% to 16%.
  • Young people remain ambivalent about the urgency, as the numbers reflect — a gain from 10% to 18%.

The other side: 29% of Black Americans, 26% of Republicans and 21% of overall respondents say they don't plan to get the vaccine no matter how much time passes.

What we're watching: In recent weeks, the president has largely turned his public messaging away from the pandemic to focus on the election and his unsubstantiated allegations of fraud after his loss to President-elect Joe Biden.

  • At the same time, our index finds that the share of Republicans who believe that the U.S. death count from coronavirus is overinflated has declined — from 70% in September to 59% now.
  • And just in the past month, Republicans' trust in the Federal Reserve has risen dramatically, from 32% to 42%. The Fed, which has played an important role in managing the economy during the pandemic, was once a regular target of Trump, but now his ire has been redirected.
  • Trust in Biden to give accurate information about the virus slipped slightly, to 54%, the lowest since the election, but remains about twice as high as Trump's.

What they're saying: "It’s become clear that what Donald Trump says, the Republican Party follows him on," said pollster Chris Jackson, senior vice president for Ipsos Public Affairs.

  • "Since the spring, he’s been talking about coronavirus as not a big deal and not really something worth taking significant steps on. But in the last couple weeks since the election, he’s not really been talking about the pandemic, he’s been talking about the election."
  • "The thing to be watching moving forward is, do we continue to see Republicans move back toward the rest of the country on wearing masks or believing the number of people who have died from COVID; or once these patterns of behavior have been created, do they stick?"

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted Dec. 11-14 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,009 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.
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