The difference in Covid-19 vaccination rates between Republicans and Democrats has grown over the last two months, a report released Thursday from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows.
Vaccination rates are increasing more quickly in counties that voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election than in counties that voted for Donald Trump, the new study finds.
The team used data comparing countywide vaccinations numbers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with 2020 presidential election results.
They said in April 2021, counties where most people voted for Trump had an average vaccination rate of 20.6%, compared to 22.8% in counties that went for Biden. By July 2021, the average vaccination rate in Trump-leaning counties was 35%, and 46.7% in Biden-leaning counties. The gap increased by 9.5 percentage points in under three months.
The researchers said these numbers get at the importance of targeted vaccination efforts that account for partisan opposition.
“A key component of any effort to boost vaccination rates among Republicans will be identifying the right messengers,” the researchers wrote.
“Republicans are most likely to trust their doctors and employers to provide reliable information on COVID-19 vaccines, while government sources are less trusted.”
This group of unvaccinated people may not be swayed by vaccine efforts that increase access and outreach through government agencies.
“There is a hardcore group of vaccine resisters who are disproportionately Republican and will be difficult to move,” the researchers said.