We asked respondents to mark popular vaccine and political misinformation claims as true or false. When in doubt, they could also select “Not sure.” Here are some of the patterns we found:
● Overall, 20% of Americans endorsed at least one COVID-19 vaccine misperception. Another 45% did not endorse any misperceptions but did report being uncertain about the veracity of some claims.
● In the realm of politics, a very small proportion of respondents (8%) were able to correctly identify all false statements we asked about as inaccurate. Two-fifths (41%) believed at least one false statement, while just over half (51%) did not endorse incorrect items but still reported uncertainty about them.
● COVID-19 vaccine misperceptions were more common among younger people, with 25% of those ages 18 to 45 endorsing at least one. Both vaccine and political misperceptions were more prevalent among respondents with lower income, lower education level, and among those who identified as Republicans.
● People endorsing vaccine misinformation were considerably more likely to also endorse political falsehoods. Fully 71% of those who believed false vaccine statements also believed inaccurate claims related to politics. In contrast, 32% of those who correctly marked all false vaccine claims believed inaccurate political statements.
● Vaccine-related and political misperceptions were strongly associated with low trust in the government, science, and medicine. They were also associated with high trust in Donald Trump and high levels of conspiratorial thinking.