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Expand chart
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.

Go deeper

Nov 27, 2021 - World

South Africa says it's being "punished" for detecting new COVID variant

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor addresses the 76th session of the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 22 in New York City. Photo: Eduardo Munoz - Pool/Getty Images

South Africa said Saturday it's being "punished" for detecting the new Omicron coronavirus variant as more countries rush to enact travel bans and restrictions.

Driving the news: The U.S. imposed air travel restrictions from eight countries Friday in response to the Omicron variant. Countries in Europe and Asia have also implemented their own travel restrictions in response to Omicron.

Updated Nov 27, 2021 - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

2 hours ago - Health

WHO: Not yet known whether Omicron leads to more severe disease

Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Sunday said that it is not yet clear whether the newly discovered Omicron variant is more transmissible than other strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Why it matters: The agency's statement comes as the variant, discovered in South Africa, has already been detected in European and Asian countries.

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