“More than half of Americans plan to get updated COVID shot”: FAKE NEWS?

There's a sharp partisan divide, but interest blows away uptake of the last booster.

ARS TECHNICA – According to polling by Politico and Morning Consult, 57 percent of registered voters said they would “probably” or “definitely” get the vaccine, which is a monovalent shot that targets the recent omicron subvariant, XBB.1.5.

Specifically, 20 percent of voters said they would probably get the shot, while 37 percent said they definitely would.

[In 2022, there were 260,836,730 adults living in the United States; of these, 168.42 million, or 64.5%, are registered to vote. Why a pollster would exclude more than a third of the population from a poll that has nothing to do with voting is unclear. The story also fails to report how many people hung up on the pollsters, refused to answer on privacy grounds, or told them to do something that is impossible. If you add those who hung up on the pollster to those who said they would refuse the shot, it’s entirely possible that the majority of those contacted IS NOT planning to get the shot. – HEADLINE HEALTH]

Collectively, that’s nearly triple the actual uptake of last year’s updated vaccine, a bivalent shot that targeted both the ancestral strain and the omicron subvariants BA.4/5.

In total, 20.5 percent of people age 18 or older received that shot, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, 17 percent of the US population got the bivalent booster.

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While the boosted interest in the latest vaccine is likely heartening to officials, the polling still shows a dangerous partisan divide that has plagued public health responses throughout the pandemic.

In the Politico/Morning Consult poll, 79 percent of Democrats said they planned to get the updated shot, but only 39 percent of Republicans said the same.

That leaves 61 percent of Republicans who indicated they would not seek out the new vaccine …


BETH MOLE is Ars Technica’s Senior Health Reporter. Beth has a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and attended the Science Communication program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She specializes in covering infectious diseases, public health, and microbes.

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