In the case of COVID-19 vaccines, Republicans and Democrats agree on one well being difficulty
There is always room for agreement – even in politically polarized times.
According to a study published Tuesday by the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
There’s a dramatic split along the party lines on whether to wear masks and whether or not to get the COVID-19 vaccination – 58% of Republicans and 15% of Democrats say they definitely won’t get the vaccination according to the Kaiser Family Foundation – but there is no siding with the payment of doctors: 36% of Democrats and 37% of Republicans say doctors are overpaid.
“These results provide some evidence that measures aimed at improving nurse pay or lowering executive salaries could be popular with both Democrats and Republicans.”
A majority of respondents are in favor of increasing government funding to reduce patient costs (74%) and to expand government health insurance coverage for people on low incomes (59%). However, the Democrats support more than the Republicans.
“The results show the usual partisan divisions when it comes to the Affordable Care Act and other major health care reform proposals, but underscore a bipartisan consensus on pay for health workers,” said Trevor Tompson, director of the AP-NORC Center.
“These results provide some evidence that measures to improve the pay of nurses and health workers or lower executive salaries could be popular with both Democrats and Republicans,” he added.
Glimmer of hope in vaccination rates
But Americans remain rooted along the party lines with COVID-19 vaccines and masks. “The majority of Republicans say they ‘never’ wear a mask outdoors in crowded places, outdoors with friends and household members, at work or in a grocery store,” according to the KFF poll released last week. “Democrats, on the other hand, are more likely to say they wear a mask in all of these places, except when they are outdoors with household members and friends.”
“Partiality also plays a big role, with more than half (58%) of the ‘definitely not’ group identifying as Republican or Republican-oriented,” the report concluded, referring to people who say they definitely do not have COVID -19 vaccine. White Evangelical Christians make up almost twice the proportion of the “definitely not” group (32%) than the “wait and see” group for vaccines.
Still, the KFF poll says a quarter of unvaccinated adults will likely receive a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year. This includes nearly half (45%) of people who count themselves in the “wait and see” group of unvaccinated Americans.
When it comes to COVID vaccines, partiality plays a major role, as more than half of the “definitely not” group identify as Republican or Republican oriented.
About 99% of recent COVID-related deaths have been among the unvaccinated, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, last month. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said they accounted for over 97% of hospital admissions.
Johnson & Johnson Unit JNJ’s vaccine, -0.28% Janssen, is an adenovirus vector-based vaccine that requires only one shot. Clinical trials showed 72% effectiveness in the US (Despite this data, only 47% of adults in the KFF survey said this vaccine was safe, compared to 72% for Pfizer and 68% for Moderna.)
The two-shot mRNA-based vaccines from Pfizer PFE, +3.04% with German partner BioNTech SE BNTX, -6.06%, and Moderna MRNA, -4.00% make up the majority of vaccinations administered in the US with clinical data suggesting efficacy rates in the mid 90% range. Research by the Mayo Clinic puts its effectiveness in the “real world” at 88.7%.
Also read: With the more contagious Delta variant floating around, public health experts say herd immunity has become an even more distant target