WebMD News Brief

1 in 7 Dropped Friends Over COVID-19 Vaccine Views: Survey

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Sept. 15, 2021 -- About 1 in 7 Americans have ended friendships during the past year due to divided views over COVID-19 vaccines, according to a new survey.

The survey of 1,000 Americans, which was conducted by OnePoll on Sept. 2, examined why people have ended friendships throughout the pandemic. Overall, about 16% of people had nixed three friendships since March 2020.

Among those who ended a friendship, 66% were vaccinated and 17% said they didn’t plan to receive a shot. About 14% -- or 1 in 7 -- vaccinated people said they dropped friends who refused to get a shot.

“A vast majority of vaccinated people (97%) consider their ex-friends to be ‘full-blown anti-vaxxers’ and said they could never get them to understand the importance of the vaccine,” OnePoll wrote about the survey results.

“Many unvaccinated people said it was a personal choice because they’re worried about potential side effects,” OnePoll wrote. “Others said they’re healthy and don’t need the vaccine, while some expressed distrust.”

The survey found other reasons why friendships broke up, whether people were vaccinated or not. About 16% dropped friendships due to different political views.

They survey also looked at the political differences among the survey respondents and their views about COVID-19 vaccines. About 81% of Democrats were fully vaccinated, as well as 64% of Republicans, 69% of independents, and 41% of third-party supporters.

About 7% of Democrats said they didn’t get vaccinated, along with 23% of Republicans, 20% of independents, and 27% of third-party supporters.

“Surprisingly, many Democrats (41%) feel society is too critical of unvaccinated people, and over half of Republicans (57%) echo that sentiment,” OnePoll wrote. “However, 12% of Democrats and 5% of Republicans disagree society is harsh on unvaccinated people.”

Overall, 61% of vaccinated people said they felt “very confident” in their decision to get vaccinated, the survey found. About 33% said the same about not getting vaccinated.

WebMD Health News Brief

Sources

OnePoll: “Vaccinated Americans call it quits with friends who refuse to get the COVID-19 shot.”

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