Monday, May 10, 2021


CNN's Harry Enten thinks politicians won't be able to increase our vaccination rate.
A look at the data reveals that the vaccine hesitant group, however, are not big Trump lovers. They’re actually likely not to be Republican. Instead, many of them are people who are detached from the political process and didn’t vote for either major candidate in 2020.
Enten is distinguishing between the vaccine hesitant -- the people saying that they'll wait and see before getting vaccinated -- and the vaccine resistant -- those who simply don't want it or who'll get it only if compelled to. The resisters are mostly Republican. The hesitators aren't.
The most recent Kaiser poll helps illustrate that the vaccine hesitant group doesn’t really lean Republican. Just 20% of the group called themselves Republican with an additional 19% being independents who leaned Republican. The clear majority (61%) were not Republicans (41% said they were Democrats or Democratic leaning independents and 20% were either pure independents or undesignated).

This is very much unlike the vaccine resistant group, of whom 55% are Republican or Republican leaning independents. Just 21% of that group are Democrats or Democratic leaning independents.
A large percentage of the hesitators aren't voters at all.
People who are not registered to vote are among the most likely to say they’re in the wait-and-see camp. In a Monmouth University poll last month, 34% of adults who were not registered to vote said they wanted to “see how it goes” (i.e. wait-and-see) before getting a vaccine. That was significantly higher than the 10% of registered voters who said the same.
So how do we reach them? I'm hoping the numbers change once the vaccines reach full approval -- not just because full approval might persuade a few holdouts that the shots are safe, but because, for once, capitalism might act on behalf of the public good, even if that's not the primary intention. Here's a detail from last week's vaccine news:
Pfizer and BioNTech have begun the process of applying for full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of its coronavirus vaccine, the companies announced Friday morning....

If the vaccine is fully approved, it sets the stage for Pfizer and BioNTech to begin advertising the shots directly to consumers....
America is one of only two countries on Earth that allow direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising. (New Zealand is the other.) This combined with the drug industry's relentless marketing of pricey new products to doctors is one reason our healthcare costs are so high.

However, Big Pharma is good at selling us drugs we didn't know we wanted. The drug industry knows how to make us want to walk into our doctors' offices and ask for a new drug we've seen on TV or in Web ads.

So maybe consumer advertising will succeed where earnest entreaties haven't. And if not, there's always free beer.

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