Sep 24, 2021 - Health

America's mismatched COVID fears

Data: Harris Poll and CDC; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Vaccinated Americans are more worried about contracting a COVID infection than unvaccinated Americans, according to new Harris polling that was conducted in consultation with the CDC and provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: The science says that the unvaccinated have much more to fear, and are largely driving the current surge of hospitalizations and deaths.

What they found: More than half of respondents said they think breakthrough cases are common, including 68% of unvaccinated respondents.

  • Worryingly, 60% of unvaccinated respondents said they think breakthrough cases prove the existing coronavirus vaccines aren't effective, compared to only 26% of all respondents.

By the numbers: Among vaccinated respondents, three-quarters said that if they were to get a breakthrough case, they'd be concerned about spreading the virus.

  • Just over half said they'd be concerned about dying — which is extremely unlikely among the vaccinated.
  • Only 12% of vaccinated Americans said they're living as they did pre-pandemic. The rest said they are taking at least some precautions to avoid exposure.

The bottom line: Ironically, the people who are most worried are generally the ones with the least to fear.

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