In just a matter of weeks, Americans’ willingness to be vaccinated against the coronavirus has dropped 11 percentage points, falling to 50 percent in late September. This sharp decline comes after the percentage dwindled from 66 percent in July to 61 percent in August.
This drop is driven entirely by self-identified Democrats; willingness to take the vaccine is increasing among Republicans. From late August to now, the percentage of Democrats willing to take the vaccine has dropped from 78 percent to 53 percent. In the same time period, the percentage of Republicans willing to take the vaccine increased from 37 percent to 49 percent. The percentage of self-identified independents willing to take the vaccine declined from 59 percent to 47 percent.
It is hard to believe that increasing skepticism of the vaccine among Democrats is not connected to comments such as Kamala Harris’s declaration in September that she would not take any vaccine unveiled before the election because she believes President Trump will overrule health experts and offer an unsafe vaccine to the public: “They’ll be muzzled, they’ll be suppressed, they will be sidelined because he’s looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days and he’s grasping to get whatever he can to pretend he has been a leader on this issue when he is not.”