May 26, 2021 - Health

Vaccine myths persist

Two-thirds of unvaccinated adults believe or are unsure about common COVID-19 vaccine myths
Reproduced from KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor; Chart: Axios Visuals

Big myths about COVID vaccines are showing real staying power among unvaccinated Americans.

The big picture: While misinformation isn't the only factor fueling hesitancy, it's an ongoing problem the media, health leaders and trusted messengers need to chip away at.

By the numbers: All told, 67% of unvaccinated adults either believed or weren’t sure about at least one major falsehood about the vaccines.

  • One big myth with legs is that the vaccines cause COVID-19. 36% of respondents either thought that was true or weren't sure; it was also the biggest misconception among Black and Hispanic Americans as well as young adults.
  • Different myths have gained ground among vaccine-hesitant Republicans: 37% either believed that the vaccines change your DNA, or weren't sure.

Leaders, from Biden on down, can keep hammering away at the facts. So can the media.

  • Doctors, nurses, community health workers and pharmacists are also important sources of information for unvaccinated Americans and trusted messengers.
  • They have a special role to play in their communities clearing up the myths about vaccines that remain among the most hesitant groups.

Go deeper: Read the full column (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Go deeper