NEW YORK — The holidays are about to get heated — and politics aren’t even the main issue this time. Nearly two-thirds of vaccinated Americans are banning unvaccinated family members from their holiday gatherings this year.
According to the results, two in three respondents feel they cannot go home for the holidays without getting vaccinated first. Of the 65 percent who are fully vaccinated, nearly six in 10 (58%) have reportedly cut off family members who refuse to get the vaccine. Meanwhile, 63 percent don’t feel comfortable inviting unvaccinated relatives to their parties.
COVID vaccine controversy
Seventy-two percent of vaccinated respondents don’t think they could ever get some of their family members to understand the importance of the vaccine. On the other hand, 14 percent of survey respondents don’t plan to ever get the shot themselves.
When asked about their decision, one respondent admits that they “don’t trust the vaccine is safe,” while another says they are “concerned about side effects.” One even believes the vaccine “was rushed and people who are getting vaccinated are still getting sick.”
Half of the unvaccinated respondents (49%) have stopped communicating with family members who don’t understand why they refuse the shot. These strained family dynamics may explain why 22 percent of unvaccinated respondents have so far been excluded from all family gatherings, including the holidays.
Family matters, even during disputes
However, 38 percent of unvaccinated people say they remain in contact with their vaccinated loved ones, and 58 percent of the same group add that they’re still welcome at family get-togethers. The study also suggests that the vaccine has played a role in the workforce the way it has in family relationships.
Forty-three percent of unvaccinated respondents confess they’re “worried” about potentially losing their jobs and benefits, or paying higher health insurance premiums because they’re not vaccinated.
Their concerns come on the heels of a new federal mandate, announced on Nov. 4, which will require Americans working at companies with 100 or more employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine by Jan. 4 or go for COVID testing every week.
Regardless of their vaccination status, half the poll (53%) agree that the politicization of the vaccine has completely divided their families. Four in five (79%) believe politics should not play a role in science or medicine.
That topic may be up for discussion at the dinner table this holiday season, since over half (56%) anticipate having arguments with their families about the vaccine.