For months, public-health officials and the media have made the inexplicable decision to consistently downplay the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. Everybody from Joe Biden to Anthony Fauci on down has emphasized that post-vaccination, people have to avoid returning to their normal, pre-pandemic lives. It turns out this bizarre public messaging campaign has had an effect.
A new Economist/YouGov poll finds:
In the latest Economist/YouGov poll, three in 10 Americans who have received at least one vaccinate shot (29%) believe it is safe for them to travel within the United States today. By contrast, half of the one in four Americans who reject the vaccine believe it is safe for them to venture out now.
Another question in the poll found that those who are already vaccinated are also significantly more likely to be worried about experiencing COVID-19 than those who don’t want to be vaccinated.
This is bananas. Remember, the leading vaccines are 72 percent to 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 infections, and nearly 100 percent effective at preventing hospitalizations and death.
But the results are no surprise given the messaging coming from leading officials. Fauci said that after getting vaccinated, people still shouldn’t dine indoors or go to theaters. Biden said that people should wear masks until everybody is vaccinated. Taken literally, this would mean forever.
Not only has such messaging created irrational fear among those already vaccinated, but it has undercut the pitch for people who are on the fence about vaccines. Why bother?