According to a recent survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports, approximately 24 percent of Americans believe that someone they know has died due to side effects from COVID-19 vaccines.
The findings revealed that 69 percent of respondents stated they do not know anyone personally who has died from the vaccine. Interestingly, among those who reported knowing someone who died from the virus itself, 41 percent also claimed to know someone who died from COVID-19 vaccine side effects.
The political affiliation did not seem to significantly influence the responses, as 25 percent of both Republican and Democratic voters indicated knowing someone who died from alleged vaccine side effects. Government employees, however, were notably more than twice as likely as private sector workers to report knowing someone who died from vaccine side effects.
A separate survey conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania reflected an increased wariness among Americans regarding COVID-19 vaccines. The study, which polled 1,500 American adults between October 5 and October 12, revealed that 63 percent of respondents considered the COVID-19 vaccine safer than contracting the virus, marking a 12-point drop from April 2021. Additionally, the perception of the vaccine’s safety declined, with 24 percent of respondents viewing it as unsafe, compared to 18 percent in August 2022.
The survey also noted a rise in the belief that vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, may be linked to autism. The percentage of respondents associating vaccines with autism increased from 10 percent in April 2021 to 16 percent in October 2023. Surprisingly, more Americans now believe in a connection between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, with 12 percent endorsing this belief compared to 9 percent in June 2021.
The survey results also indicated a growing acceptance of using ivermectin to treat COVID-19, with the percentage rising from 10 percent in September 2021 to 26 percent in the latest poll. The Annenberg Public Policy Center attributed the increasing vaccine hesitancy to a rising “belief in health misinformation,” although concerns about misinformation spread by federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), were also acknowledged.
Despite the FDA and CDC endorsing booster shots from Moderna, Pfizer, and Novavax in September, recent data suggests a slow uptake. As of October 27, around 15 million people in the United States have received the latest COVID-19 vaccine, accounting for over 4.5 percent of the population.
This contrasts with the previous year when approximately 23 million people had received the initial updated booster shot by October 26. The 2022 fall vaccination campaign started roughly ten days earlier than in 2023, and about 56.5 million people, or 17 percent of the U.S. population, received the booster shot last year.