We asked respondents to mark four popular vaccine misinformation claims as true or false. When in doubt, they could also select “Not sure.” Here are some of the patterns we found:
● Twenty percent of Americans report believing at least one vaccine misinformation statement. More than half (51%) say they are not sure whether to believe at least one false claim.
● Belief in vaccine misinformation is associated with lower vaccination rates and higher vaccine resistance. Among respondents who did not mark any misinformation items as true, 70% reported being vaccinated, while 15% were vaccine resistant. Among those who thought multiple misinformation statements were true, 46% said they were vaccinated and 42% were vaccine resistant.
● Uncertainty about misinformation is also linked to lower vaccination rates and higher vaccine resistance. Among respondents who identified all four misinformation claims as false, only 5% were vaccine resistant and 85% were vaccinated. Among those who did not identify any claim as true but were uncertain about at least one, 25% were vaccine resistant and 56% were vaccinated. Among respondents who thought at least one of the false statements was accurate, 39% were vaccine-resistant and 44% were vaccinated.
● Misperceptions and uncertainty emerge as important predictors of vaccine attitudes even when we account for other factors including geography, demographic characteristics, political affiliation, trust in institutions, news consumption, and personal experience with COVID-19.
● People aged 25 to 44, those with high socioeconomic status, and Republicans are most likely to hold vaccine misperceptions, with over 25% in each group marking at least one misinformation statement as true.
● Women, African-Americans, young people, and those with lower socioeconomic status are most likely to report uncertainty as to whether misinformation statements are true or not.