Politics sways even seniors’ COVID vaccine enthusiasm

Seniors are more enthusiastic about the coronavirus vaccines than younger Americans, but even this high-risk population is still subject to some partisan divisions in recent months, according to Axios-Ipsos polls.

The big picture: In the most recent waves of our Axios-Ipsos survey, 85% of seniors said they had already been vaccinated, or were probably vaccinated.

  • The real world results confirm this: 82% of US seniors have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC.

Yes but: Although a large majority of seniors have embraced the vaccine, partisanship is still the biggest dividing line – it reflects trends in the general population.

  • 95% of Democrats last month said they had or are likely to be vaccinated – compared to 84% of Independents and 78% of Republicans.
  • 17% of Republican seniors said they had returned to their pre-pandemic life, compared with just 3% of Democrats and 9% of Independents.
  • There is no racial divide in seniors’ enthusiasm for vaccination, at least between white and non-white seniors. Higher-income seniors are more enthusiastic than their lower-income peers, but excitement has increased across all income levels.

Between the lines: The partisan difference has basically turned since last autumn. When Donald Trump was president and some critics feared he would get a vaccine through the regulatory process, only 42% of Democratic seniors said they would likely be vaccinated, compared with 53% of Republican seniors.

What’s next: 15% of seniors said they are unlikely to get a shot – which puts them at serious risk regardless of their policies.

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