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Photo: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Knowing someone who has been vaccinated, and seeing that the vaccine does not produce any significant adverse effects, is emerging as the leading reason people are willing to get vaccinated themselves. 

Why it matters: This means vaccine hesitancy should diminish naturally as more people are vaccinated.

By the numbers: 41% of Americans say they know someone who’s been vaccinated, and more than half of that group — 52% — say they’ll get vaccinated themselves “as soon as they can.”

  • Among people who don’t know anyone who’s gotten the vaccine so far, just 37% say they plan to get it as soon as possible.

What’s next: As broader uptake chips away at vaccine hesitancy, targeted persuasion campaigns can focus on the groups where vaccine hesitancy is likely to be the most persistent, including among Black and rural Americans.

  • And that additional outreach may be necessary — so far, high-risk and high-hesitancy groups are trailing in exposure to the vaccine.
  • In our KFF survey, 51% of white adults said they’ve either been vaccinated or know someone who has, compared to just 38% for Black Americans and 37% for Latinos.
  • Similarly, people with incomes over $90,000 per year were twice as likely as those with incomes below $40,000 to say they’ve been vaccinated or know someone who has.

Go deeper.

Go deeper

Feb 9, 2021 - Health

J&J CEO: Annual COVID-19 vaccine shots may be necessary for a few years

Alex Gorsky. Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters/Bloomberg via Getty Images

People might need the coronavirus vaccine annually in years to come, much like the seasonal flu shot, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky told CNBC on Tuesday.

What he's saying: "Unfortunately, as [the virus] spreads it can also mutate," Gorsky said at an event. "Every time it mutates, it’s almost like another click of the dial so to speak where we can see another variant, another mutation that can have an impact on its ability to fend of antibodies or to have a different kind of response not only to a therapeutic but also to a vaccine."

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Feb 9, 2021 - Podcasts

Teachers union president walks back vaccination requirement

Randi Weingarten, president of America's second-largest teachers union, told the Axios Re:Cap podcast that she "was wrong" to say in September she'd support requiring in-school teachers to take a COVID-19 vaccine once readily available.

What she's saying: Weingarten now says that while she thinks teachers should take the vaccine she believes too many people have been scared off by misinformation.

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February — FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated."
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated — Annual vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO — Team USA 100% vaccinated ahead of Beijing Olympics.
  3. Politics: Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate — Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance — Arizona governor sues Biden administration over funds tied to mandates.
  4. World: Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games — Beijing officials urge "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics — Austria approves vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker