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Data: Axios/Ipsos survey; Note: ±3.4% margin of error for the total sample; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Most Americans aren't convinced that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the silver bullet to returning to normal life, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: Our weekly national survey finds broad disagreement and confusion over which cues people intend to follow to decide what behaviors are safe again.

Between the lines: People now see less intense risk when it comes to in-person gatherings, dining out, using taxis or rideshares or airplanes, and vacationing. In a new question this week, only 11% said they see a large risk in outdoor sports, such as skiing, sledding or skating.

  • But that's coupled with measures of sinking trust in the media. Trust in cable news has dropped to 38%, down from 50% last April. Trust in network news, and news from friends and family also declined, though less.
  • Age, education and party ID also are shaping people's thinking.

What they're saying: "People don’t know how to get back to normal — or what the milestones are to get back to normal," said pollster Chris Jackson, senior vice president for Ipsos Public Affairs. "There is no single media, government or anything else that has a supermajority of trust. There’s no source on its own that can push out any single path forward."

  • "The vaccines are certainly helpful for some people," Jackson said. "But for the plurality, no one has any idea about how they’re going to resume their normal lives or navigate through this partial period of the next six to 12 months where some people are vaccinated and others aren’t.
  • "Americans really are just sort of existing right now. They haven’t put a lot of thought forward about how they’re going to navigate through the rest of this. There’s a big messaging component that’s required right now."

By the numbers: Perhaps the most important measure of when people anticipate they can return to normal is on the question of resuming in-person gatherings with family and friends outside the home.

  • 28% of overall respondents said they already have. That share surges for Republicans (42%), while it's dramatically less for Democrats (10%) and people 65 and older (15%).
  • 22% of overall respondents say they're waiting for themselves and their family and friends to get the vaccine.
  • Getting everyone vaccinated is most important in the minds of respondents who had a bachelor's degree or higher (34%) and for seniors (29%).
  • It was least important as a cue among those with a high school degree or less (14%).

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted Feb. 5-8 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,030 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Several states report zero COVID deaths for the first time in months — CDC says schools should still universally require masks and physical distancing.
  2. Politics: New York to lift mask mandate for vaccinated people — CDC director says politics didn't play a role in abrupt mask policy shift.
  3. Vaccines: Sanofi, GSK COVID vaccine shows strong immune response in phase 2 trials — Vaccine-hesitant Americans cite inaccurate side effects — 600,000 kids between 12 and 15 have received Pfizer dose since FDA authorization.
  4. Business: How retailers are responding to the latest CDC guidance — Delta to require all new employees be vaccinated — Target, CVS and other stores ease mask requirements after CDC guidance.
  5. World: World's largest vaccine maker expects to resume exports by end of 2021 — Biden administration to send 20 million U.S.-authorized vaccine doses abroad.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Feb 8, 2021 - Health

The coronavirus vaccines have shattered expectations

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

No matter how hard you squint, or what angle you look at it from, the coronavirus vaccines are a triumph. They are saving lives today; they will help end this pandemic eventually; and they will pay scientific dividends for generations.

The big picture: The pandemic isn’t over. There are still big threats ahead of us and big problems to solve. But for all the things that have gone wrong over the past year, the vaccines themselves have shattered even the most ambitious expectations.

Facebook says it will crack down on COVID vaccine misinformation

Photo illustration: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook says it will take tougher action during the pandemic against claims that vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccination, are not effective or safe.

Why it matters: It's a partial reversal from Facebook's previous position on vaccine misinformation. In September, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company wouldn't target anti-vaccination posts the same way it has aggressively cracked down on COVID misinformation.