In a study of American attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination, just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open, we found that Americans’ support for vaccination declines in the face of political involvement in the vaccine process.
A Trump endorsement dampens the likelihood that individuals will vaccinate (see Figure 1). A Biden endorsement fares no better statistically. Despite missteps by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in responding to COVID-19, endorsements by either would be a more powerful lure for Americans than either a Trump or Biden endorsement.
An effective public-health strategy should incorporate what we are learning about public attitudes toward the COVID-19 vaccine. And what we are learning clearly indicates that politics has no place in the vaccination process.