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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republicans and rural Americans are among the strongest vaccine resisters, and strategies are emerging to reach them, but the bigger and quicker payoff will come from focusing on people who are more persuadable.

The big picture: A diverse cross-section of Americans are in “wait and see” mode when it comes to the coronavirus vaccine, including many of the communities of color who are at the greatest risk from the coronavirus. And that group has been shrinking.

By the numbers: The number of Americans who say they’d absolutely refuse to get vaccinated, or will do so only if they’re required to, hasn’t changed much over the past few months.

  • 38% of Republicans are in this highly resistant group, as are 28% of rural Americans.
  • While the ranks of the resisters have not moved, the number of people taking a “wait and see” approach has been shrinking, as more of those onetime skeptics see that the vaccines are safe. It’s fallen from 39% in December to 22% in February.
  • This persuadable group includes 34% of Black adults, 33% of young adults and 26% of Latinos.

The bottom line: Efforts to build public confidence in the vaccines can garner early and large returns by emphasizing the "wait and see" population, while hopefully chipping away more slowly at the people who are already dug in.

Go deeper.

Go deeper

Ex-Theranos CEO describes alleged abuse by former boyfriend and company exec

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

On her fourth day of trial testimony, ex-Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes described her 10-year romantic relationship with former president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani as controlling, and said he would sometimes "force me to have sex with him when I didn’t want to."

Why it matters: While Balwani has also been similarly charged with fraud, the two are being tried separately, in part because some of Holmes' defense hinges on blaming him.

Amazon ordered to redo union vote in Alabama

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

A U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) official on Monday called for a re-vote in a union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.

Why it matters: The move could set the stage for another organizing drive at the e-commerce giant, which has, so far, fought off unionizing efforts in the U.S.

Pentagon to probe 2019 Syria strike after reports of dozens of civilian casualties

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Nov. 20. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered a new investigation into a 2019 U.S. airstrike that killed around 80 people, including dozens of women and children in Syria, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The move comes after the Times reported this month that the Pentagon attempted to keep the strike and casualties under wraps, failing to investigate the decision behind it even after questions were raised internally.

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