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Axios-Ipsos poll: The misinformed are less likely to get vaccinated

A new look at the data from our most recent Axios-Ipsos poll shows a strong correlation between the people who are influenced by COVID vaccine misinformation and those who are unlikely to get the vaccine.

The big picture: As this graphic shows, Americans who either believed misinformation or were unsure whether it was true or false were less likely to get the vaccine than those who knew that it was false.


The poll asked whether six false statements about the coronavirus vaccines were true or false, including that the vaccine includes a microchip to track the recipient; vaccines that use messenger RNA technology promote cancer; the vaccines sterilize people who get them; and the vaccine is more deadly than the virus.

  • The groups that outright believed the misinformation were fairly small. The bigger issue was the number of people who said they didn't know whether it was true or false — which doesn't count as a correct answer.
  • For example, only 3% incorrectly said it was true that the COVID vaccines sterilize the recipients, but 35% said they weren't sure.

By the numbers: The poll also found that people who said they didn't trust the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or public health officials to give accurate information about COVID were more likely than other groups to say they're not going to get the shot.

  • For example, 47% of people who don't trust the CDC said they're not at all likely to get vaccinated, while another 15% said they're not very likely to get it.
  • By contrast, 44% of those who trust the CDC said they've already been vaccinated, while 26% said they're very likely to get the shot and 13% said they're somewhat likely to get it.
  • There was also a strong correlation between lack of trust in the CDC and vulnerability to misinformation: 40% of those who don't trust the CDC didn't give any correct answers to the six misinformation questions, while another 28% only got one to three answers right.

The bottom line: The impact of COVID vaccine misinformation is not trivial.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted March 19-22 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 995 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.

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