Director of Marron, Angela Hawken, and co-author David Farabee (NYU Grossman School of Medicine) have published “Perceptions of COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects by Political Affiliation” in the Journal of Public Health, assessing how subjective experiences of COVID-19 vaccine side effects among U.S. adults are associated with political-party identification.
The study sheds light on the influence of political affiliation on vaccine acceptance by focusing on the perceived side effects among those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine. People who are vaccinated are generally considered to be more-credible messengers of its consequences. While previous research has explored vaccination decisions, this study demonstrates that political affiliation shapes perceptions of the vaccine, even among those who followed public-health recommendations and got vaccinated. Notably, both Republicans and Democrats reported similar perceived side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, the study revealed a significant difference in their willingness to recommend the vaccine to others, based on their experience, with Republicans less likely to recommend it. These findings have implications for future public-health messaging, as there is a significant association between a person’s perceived vaccine side effects and their perceptions of side effects in their social network.