DemDaily: The COVID Count. Who Are The Unvaccinated?

September 13, 2021

The country is now over a year and a half into the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of almost 660,000 Americans.

While daily COVID deaths in the United States have risen to 1,500 amid the surge of the much more infectious Delta variant, hospitalizations and reports of new cases are starting to level off as more Americans are getting vaccinated.

COVID Count: 41,025,335 million cases and 659,806 fatalities.
54% of Americans are fully vaccinated and 75% have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

The Vaccinated
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports demographic characteristics, including race/ethnicity, of people receiving COVID-19 vaccinations at the national level.

As of September 8, 2021, the CDC reported that race/ethnicity was known for 59% of people who had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Among this group, nearly two-thirds were White (60%), 10% were Black, 17% were Hispanic, 6% were Asian, 1% were American Indian or Alaska Native, and <1% were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, while 5% reported multiple or other race.

The Unvaccinated
According to the Cleveland Clinic, unvaccinated patients account for 99.75% of those hospitalized. Despite that fact, there are still segments of the population that refuse the treatment.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, unvaccinated adults fall into two distinct groups -- those who are open to getting a vaccine ("wait and see") and those who say they will definitely not get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Among the two, the demographic differences center on racial and ethnic identity and political partisanship.

The Face of the Unvaccinated: Protest in Michigan (Dale Young)

Four in ten of those in the "wait and see" group are people of color, while the most vaccine-resistant group, those who say they will "definitely not" get a COVID-19 vaccine, is overwhelmingly made up of White adults (65% of the group compared to 50% of the "wait and see" group).

Partisanship also plays a major role with more than half (58%) of the "definitely not" group identifying as Republican or Republican-leaning. In addition, religious identity also plays a role as White Evangelical Christians make up nearly twice the share of the "definitely not" group (32%) as the "wait and see" group.

A mini vaccination surge has followed the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the US, especially among Black and Hispanic Americans, suggesting a narrowing of racial gaps in vaccinations at the national level. Individual states, however, are still generally lagging among minority populations, despite a greater supply of vaccines across the country.

Worldwide, there have been 225,919,000 reported cases and 4,650,658 deaths.


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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: Center for Disease Control, NBC, Cleveland Clinic, KKF, New York Times, Worldometer

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