BUSINESS INSIDER – Recent polls show Republicans are now much less likely to get a flu shot than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating that the politicization of the coronavirus vaccines is bleeding over into the flu immunization.
In the years prior to the global pandemic, Republicans and Democrats were similarly likely to get an annual influenza shot, CNN recently pointed out.
In a February 2020 AP-NORC poll, 58% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans said they’d gotten a flu shot in the past year.
This year, between 65 and 68% of Democrats say they have gotten or will almost certainly get a flu shot, while between 40 and 44% of Republicans said they have or will get vaccinated against the flu, recent polls show.
This gap is reflective of the approximately 30 percentage-point gap between Democrats and Republicans who’ve received a COVID-19 jab.
While between 90 and 95% of Democrats 18 and older have gotten a coronavirus vaccine, just about 65% of adult Republicans have done the same.
The coronavirus vaccines, vaccine mandates, and other public health efforts related to the pandemic, including mask-wearing and lockdowns, have been heavily politicized over the last nearly two years.
Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to oppose these mitigation efforts.
Many Republican lawmakers and politicians have aggressively opposed COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements, a position some experts fear will aggravate hesitancy and opposition to other vaccines as well.
This partisan gap in vaccine uptake is one reason why there’s a significantly higher COVID-19 death rate in counties that voted for former President Donald Trump …