A just-released survey shows most Americans — 60% — believe too many people are falling back on their religious beliefs as an excuse to forgo vaccination against COVID-19.
The survey, from the Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core, also found only around one-in-10 Americans say receiving an inoculation against the coronavirus violates their sincerely held convictions.
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It’s worth noting PRRI found “no religious group in which more than one-in-five people believe that the teachings of their religion prohibit vaccinations for childhood diseases.”
Perhaps most concerning, though, is the study’s conclusions on the widening — and increasingly partisan — divide between the vaccinated and unvaccinated, with each camp expressing a deep-seated anger toward the other.
PRRI found two-thirds of vaccinated Americans, or 67%, agree they are “angry at those who are refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and are putting the rest of us at risk.”
The chasm is even wider when broken down along political lines, with a staggering 84% of Democrats saying they are angry at people who — for any number of reasons — have avoided taking the shots. By comparison, only 43% of Republicans feel the same anger.
However, 85% of unvaccinated Republicans are “significantly more likely” than their Democratic counterparts — 48% — to say they are angry at those who think they have the right to tell them to get vaccinated against the novel virus.
All of this comes as, according to the poll, 31% of unvaccinated Americans say they have asked for or plan to request religious exemptions from COVID vaccines.
The divide isn’t just political, though. Roughly one-in-five Americans — 19% — say the vaccination issue has caused “major conflicts in their families.”
What about kids?
One-third of U.S. parents — 33% — say they are “hesitant” to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 with 23% saying they “will wait to see how vaccines are working for other children.” Ten percent say they will only get their children inoculated “if it were required for work, school, or other activities.”
Overall, 23% of parents with kids under the ages of 18 years old said they will not get their children vaccinated against the virus. Most of those parents, PRRI noted, have also declined the inoculations for themselves.
Many parents have “major” (37%) or “moderate” (31%) concerns about the vaccine for kids. Twenty-one percent and 11%, respectively, say they have “few” or “very few” concerns about getting their children the shots.
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