The gulf between Democrats’ and Republicans’ Covid-19 vaccination rates is only getting bigger as the vaccination effort continues, a new Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) analysis found, reflecting the continued high rates of vaccine hesitancy in the GOP.
Former President Donald Trump speaks during the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit in Washington, … [+] DC on December 8, 2020.
AFP via Getty Images
The KFF analysis of county-level public health data found 39.9% of the total population in counties that voted for Trump were fully vaccinated as of Monday, versus 52.8% of people in counties that went for President Joe Biden.
The 12.9% difference between the two groups is the largest recorded since KFF started tracking it in April, up from an 11.7% difference between Trump and Biden counties on July 6, a 6.5% difference on May 11 and a 2.2% difference on April 22.
Vaccination rates have increased by less than 20% since April in Trump-voting counties–from 20.6% vaccinated in April to 39.9% now–while Biden counties’ vaccination rates went up by 30% after starting at 22.8% in April.
The divide between Democratic and Republican voters’ vaccination rates is also reflected at the state level: According to public health data compiled by the New York Times, the states with the top 20 highest vaccination rates, including Washington, D.C., all voted for Biden, while 18 of the 20 states with the lowest vaccination rates voted for Trump (Georgia and Nevada, both battleground states, being the exceptions).
The state that voted for Trump with the highest vaccination rate is Florida (55% fully vaccinated) and the state that voted for Biden with the lowest vaccination rate is Georgia (43% fully vaccinated).
53.9%. That’s the total percentage of the U.S. population that’s fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A higher share of the population, 63.2%, has received at least one dose.
The state with the lowest vaccination rate is Wyoming, where only 40% of the population is fully vaccinated, while the state with the highest vaccination rate is Vermont, where 69% are fully inoculated.
Polling has consistently shown that Republicans are the largest demographic opposed to getting the Covid-19 vaccine, as a number of GOP politicians and public figures have spoken out against or questioned the vaccines despite them being safe and effective at lowering the risk of Covid-19 infection and preventing severe illness and death. A recent CNN/SSRS poll found 40% of Republican respondents still hadn’t gotten even one dose–the highest of any demographic polled–and 35% said they had no intention of getting the shot. As a result of Republicans’ higher rates of vaccine hesitancy, right-leaning states have faced some of the worst outbreaks of the highly transmissible delta variant. Many of the states that have had particularly high Covid-19 case, hospitalization and death rates during the delta variant surge are also those that have among the lowest vaccination rates, such as Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.
How the Biden administration’s new vaccination measures, including requiring large employers to mandate either vaccinations or weekly Covid-19 tests, will affect vaccination rates. While the announcement was aimed at encouraging more Americans to get the shot, a Morning Consult poll found only 33% of Republicans agree with the plan to require vaccinations in the workplace and 44% disagreed with the statement that the Biden administration’s measures would increase vaccination rates. Republican leaders have been heavily critical of the White House’s vaccine mandates, and a number of GOP governors have said they intend to sue the Biden administration over the directives.