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Data: U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey; Note: Does not include respondents who didn't report income; Chart: Axios Visuals

More than half of unvaccinated Americans live in households that make less than $50,000 annually, according to the latest Census Bureau data.

Why it matters: Making it easier for the working poor to get the COVID-19 vaccine, without dinging their already-low incomes, could help boost the country's vaccination rates.

The big picture: Vaccination has been politicized, but juggling work schedules and child care could be bigger factors than politics.

  • "A lot of low-income workers are working hard to provide food and housing," said Julia Raifman, a health policy professor at Boston University. "That may mean it's hard for them to find a time to get vaccinated."
  • Workers also may worry about having to take unpaid time off if they come down with any vaccine side effects. Raifman has heard anecdotal stories of employees receiving less favorable hours if they miss work.

What to watch: Whether more employers mandate vaccination or provide rewards to workers who get the shot.

  • However, rewards may not move the needle a lot if companies don't make it easy to get the vaccine or offer full pay for any time off.

The bottom line: Many low-income workers still want to get vaccinated. It's just not always easy.

  • One-quarter of unvaccinated people who make less than $50,000 still say they either "definitely" or "probably" will get the vaccine, according to the Census Bureau. That rises to two-thirds of people when including those who are receptive or "unsure" about getting the vaccine.

Editor’s note: This post has been corrected to show one-quarter of unvaccinated people who make less than $50,000 either "definitely" or "probably" will get the vaccine, and two-thirds of unvaccinated people either will "definitely/probably" get the vaccine or are receptive/"unsure" of getting the vaccine.

Go deeper

Oct 19, 2021 - Health

Supreme Court declines to block Maine health care workers vaccine mandate

A Maine health care worker prepares vaccine dose. Photo: Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear an emergency appeal of a vaccine mandate for Maine health care workers.

The big picture: The mandate, which was announced in August by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, says that Maine health care workers need to be vaccinated by Oct. 29 or risk losing their jobs and not qualifying for unemployment benefits.

GE to mandate COVID vaccinations for U.S. workers

Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP via Getty Images

General Electric will require all of its workers in the U.S. to be vaccinated against COVID-19, citing President Biden's executive order for federal contractors, the company confirmed to Axios on Tuesday.

Why it matters: General Electric is the latest in a slew of major companies to mandate the vaccine for workers, following in the footsteps of American Airlines, Tyson Foods and Microsoft, among others.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull — Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies— Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker