Vaccine stigma? 1 in 5 vaccinated Mississippians will stay away from unvaccinated friends and colleagues, reveals poll.

Published 7:14 am Thursday, June 17, 2021

There are endless stigmas about vaccines and immunization, leading to many controversial debates and misconceptions on the topic. Recently, it was announced that more than half had been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Hypothetically, if you have a group of five friends or work colleagues, perhaps two or three of them may be unvaccinated according to these current statistics., a biotechnical products distribution company, conducted a survey (3,400) to find out if this will impact our social habits, particularly in terms of coming into contact with those who choose not to be vaccinated. It was found that almost 1 in 5 (15%) vaccinated Mississippians say that going forward, they will be avoiding contact with friends and colleagues who have chosen not to be vaccinated. This is compared to a national average of 48%.

Across the country, this figure was found to be highest in Maryland, with 65% of Marylanders saying they will avoid mixing with non-vaccinated people once lockdowns are fully lifted. Comparatively, just 11% of respondents in more rural Idaho say they will be doing this.

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Vaccine Freebies: The survey also found that over a third (37%) of respondents agree with the principle of incentives – in the form of money or products – to encourage people to get vaccinated. This follows reports of businesses offering free products to anyone who can prove they have been vaccinated; including Budweiser offering vaccinated over 21s a free round of beer and Krispy Kreme offering a free donut to anyone with POV (proof of vaccination, of course). Phoenix-based The Mint Dispensary is even offering up free edibles to over 21s upon display of their vaccine card and a Michigan initiative, the ‘Pot for Shots’ program, offers a free pre-rolled joint to over 21s upon POV.

Safety vs. social life: It was also found that 2 in 5 (40%) people who have been vaccinated would be prepared to pause friendships if they discovered some friends refused to be vaccinated. Given that people unvaccinated against the coronavirus can pose a serious health risk to those around them, especially those at high risk for severe illness, perhaps this concern outweighs the social aspect for some.

Over 1 in 3 (37%) respondents think unvaccinated people should be required to sit separately on public transport facilities, such as buses and trains. Finally, nearly half (46%) of people think public venues, such as gyms, movie theaters and concerts, should have separate opening hours for unvaccinated people, so as to reduce mixing between those who are vaccinated and those who are non-vaccinated.