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A new look at the data from our most recent Axios-Ipsos poll shows a strong correlation between the people who are influenced by COVID vaccine misinformation and those who are unlikely to get the vaccine.

The big picture: As this graphic shows, Americans who either believed misinformation or were unsure whether it was true or false were less likely to get the vaccine than those who knew that it was false.

The poll asked whether six false statements about the coronavirus vaccines were true or false, including that the vaccine includes a microchip to track the recipient; vaccines that use messenger RNA technology promote cancer; the vaccines sterilize people who get them; and the vaccine is more deadly than the virus.

  • The groups that outright believed the misinformation were fairly small. The bigger issue was the number of people who said they didn't know whether it was true or false — which doesn't count as a correct answer.
  • For example, only 3% incorrectly said it was true that the COVID vaccines sterilize the recipients, but 35% said they weren't sure.

By the numbers: The poll also found that people who said they didn't trust the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or public health officials to give accurate information about COVID were more likely than other groups to say they're not going to get the shot.

  • For example, 47% of people who don't trust the CDC said they're not at all likely to get vaccinated, while another 15% said they're not very likely to get it.
  • By contrast, 44% of those who trust the CDC said they've already been vaccinated, while 26% said they're very likely to get the shot and 13% said they're somewhat likely to get it.
  • There was also a strong correlation between lack of trust in the CDC and vulnerability to misinformation: 40% of those who don't trust the CDC didn't give any correct answers to the six misinformation questions, while another 28% only got one to three answers right.

The bottom line: The impact of COVID vaccine misinformation is not trivial.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted March 19-22 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 995 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.

Go deeper

Mar 31, 2021 - Health

Demand for vaccines is already waning in some parts of the country

Expand chart
Reproduced from U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Some states are expanding vaccine eligibility partially because of a troubling reason: Not enough people want to get vaccinated.

What we're watching: Vaccine supplies are still limited, but they're already outpacing demand in some parts of the country, especially rural areas. And that could be a bad sign for the future.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: CDC director maintains Pfizer booster recommendation for high-risk workers — CDC director approves Pfizer boosters, adds eligibility for high-risk workers — FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up.
  2. Health: America's mismatched COVID fears — Some experts see signs of hope as cases fall — WHO: Nearly 1 in 4 Afghan COVID hospitals shut after Taliban takeover — D.C. goes further than area counties with vaccine mandates.
  3. Politics: Bolsonaro isolating after health minister tests positive at UN summit — United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated — Mormon Church to mandate masks in temples.
  4. Education: Health care workers and teachers caught up in booster confusion — Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine — Education Department investigating Texas mask mandate ban.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Mar 31, 2021 - Health

COVID-19 was the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020

Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

COVID-19 was an underlying cause associated with approximately 345,000 deaths during 2020, making it the third-leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer, two new CDC reports on preliminary mortality data show.

Why it matters: The estimated death rate increased by nearly 16% from 2019, with mortality highest among older people, men or people from disproportionately affected racial and ethnic minority groups.