Over the past few months, all of the available data from clinical trials and real-world studies has shown the approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and extremely effective. Experts have emphasized again and again the inoculation represents America’s only way out of the pandemic.
According to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, most Americans have absorbed this message and become more likely to say they will get vaccinated since the vaccine rollout began in the wake of last year’s presidential election. Today, 60 percent of registered voters say they’ve either been vaccinated or plan to get vaccinated, up from the 45 percent who said on Nov. 1 of last year that they planned to roll up their sleeves.
Yet in a troubling sign of polarization with echoes of the partisan divide over masks, the survey of 1,556 U.S. adults also found stubborn resistance to vaccination among one group in particular: Republicans.
Last November, before any vaccines had been approved, the gap between Democrats who said they planned to get vaccinated (51 percent) and Republicans who said the same (43 percent) was relatively small. Not anymore. Now, a full 78 percent of Democrats say they have gotten vaccinated or will get vaccinated versus just 47 percent of Republicans — a 31-point chasm…