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Feelings about others’ vaccination status run hot and cold, U.S. survey finds

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Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University
CDC card stock on March 30, 2021.

The vaccinated are giving the cold shoulder to the unvaccinated.

A new U.S. study that uses a research tool to gauge feelings found that people who received COVID-19 shots felt warmest toward others who were also vaccinated, but coldest toward those who were not. On a thermometer scale from 0 to 100 degrees, the average feeling toward vaccinated people was 78 degrees compared to 45 degrees for the unvaccinated, researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers found.

The national survey taken between early June and early July suggests that people’s own vaccination status predicts how they are likely to feel about others. And, it reflects a sentiment that the public is beginning to draw a line between people who have received their shots and people who have not.  “There will likely be increasing social pressure for people to get vaccinated themselves and expect those around them to do the same,” researchers wrote.

Using a feeling thermometer, commonly used to measure how individuals feel about a group or an issue, researchers asked nearly 21,000 U.S. residents how they felt about others’ vaccination status.  Response options ranged from zero to 100 degrees. Ratings between 0 and 49 degrees meant respondents felt unfavorable and cold, while ratings between 51 and 100 degrees reflected favorable and warm feelings.

Democrats were more favorable toward the vaccinated than Republicans, giving an average rating of 85 degrees compared to 72 degrees, respectively. Temperatures flipped when asked about the non-vaccinated. Democrats had colder feelings (38 degrees) than Republicans (56 degrees). Political independents had neutral attitudes (49 degrees).

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

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