Belief in natural immunity split along party lines according to poll

by mcardinal

Lauren Dempsey, MS in Biomedicine and Law, RN, FISM News 


A recent survey carried out by Rasmussen Reports has highlighted a very clear divide among Americans and the belief, or lack thereof, in natural immunity.

The study was conducted with 1,000 participants over a two-day period in December and asked a series of questions about vaccination, previous infection, variants, and what is most effective at preventing infection. All survey questions were placed to randomly selected phone numbers; for those without landlines an online survey tool is used where individuals are randomly selected to participate to ensure a “demographically diverse panel.” 

Over the course of the last twenty-one months, COVID-19 prevention measures and vaccination have somehow become a deeply political issue. This new survey emphasizes that the different beliefs that Americans have on vaccination and natural immunity has become a partisan issue.

According to the survey 80% of Democrats had been vaccinated, whereas only 60% of Republicans and 61% of those that were unaffiliated with a political party had received the vaccine. The survey also revealed that 77% of Democrats are concerned about new variants compared to 45% of Republicans. For individuals who are unaffiliated with either party worry is equally split, with 50% saying that they are concerned.

When it comes to natural immunity, 61% of Democrats believe that vaccines are more effective in protecting against COVID-19, 17% think natural immunity offers more protection, and 13% believe that they offer equal protection. On the other side of the political aisle, 43% of Republicans think natural immunity is more effective in providing protection, 25% believe vaccines confer better immunity, and 24% think that they offer equal levels of protection. The survey also showed that unvaccinated individuals were less worried about new variants of the coronavirus.

In individuals who have already had COVID-19, 54% have also been vaccinated. Fifty percent of those with previous infection believe that natural immunity is more effective than vaccination in preventing infection. Among those who are unvaccinated, 53% believe natural immunity is more effective and only 13% think vaccines provide better protection. However, survey results show that among those who are vaccinated, 50% believe vaccines are more effective in preventing COVID-19 and 17% think natural immunity is more effective. 

According to these survey results, it appears that some Americans are unwilling to acknowledge the scientific reality of the numerous studies on the benefits and protection that natural immunity provides. However, this may be in large part due to the fact that the benefits of natural immunity have been largely ignored by public health experts like Dr. Fauci and CDC director Rochelle Walensky.

Data regarding natural immunity has instead mostly been pushed to the side in an apparent effort to persuade all Americans to get vaccinated and receive booster shots. Many have questioned the reluctance to acknowledge the importance of natural immunity and how it helps the community to reach herd immunity levels, especially when vaccinated individuals are still being infected with COVID-19 and can still spread the virus. 

Political pundit Bill Maher spoke to this frustration on his show in November: