Big myths about COVID vaccines are showing real staying power among Americans who are not vaccinated. They are not the only factor fueling vaccine hesitancy, but they are a continuing problem the media, health leaders and trusted messengers ought to be able to chip away at to get more people vaccinated.
With social media rife with misinformation, large shares of unvaccinated Americans have latched on to misbeliefs about the vaccines.
One big myth with legs is that the vaccines themselves cause COVID. 36% of unvaccinated adults either believe this or are not sure, and 41% of unvaccinated Blacks do.
Another myth is that the vaccines cause infertility. 29% of unvaccinated adults believe that or don’t know, as do 31% of Republicans. 34% of Republicans also say the vaccines contain fetal cells or are not sure if they do.
Unvaccinated adults don’t all get their information from social media. Their top sources of information on vaccines are cable tv, network and local tv news, and friends and family. But their misconceptions could still mostly be coming from social media, which is a top information source on vaccines for 18-29 year olds.