(Note that those ages 12 and above are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine in Canada and the United States, while, for most, the vaccine-eligible age in the UK is 18.)
In the Angus Reid poll in Canada, 85% of adults who voted for the center-left Liberal Party in 2019 have been at least partially vaccinated. It’s a similar 84% for the progressive New Democratic Party.
But the difference between the two countries becomes clear when you examine conservatives. Among those adults who backed the Conservative Party in Canada’s 2019 election, a lower 69% had received at least one dose.
Still, that’s far greater than the 52% of Donald Trump supporters who have gotten a dose in an average of the Fox News, Marist and YouGov surveys.
It’s worth noting that the US’ vaccination patterns don’t just differ from Canada’s. They also differ significantly from those of another key ally: the United Kingdom.
When we examine the UK, we see that areas that were more likely to back the Conservative Party in the 2019 general election actually have a higher vaccination rate than areas where that support was weaker.
In the constituencies where the Conservatives did better than they did in the median constituency, about 90% of all adults on average have had at least one dose. In the constituencies where they did worse than the median, about 83% of all adults on average have had at least one dose.
(This gap holds even when you control for age, even as voting patterns are highly dependent on age in the UK.)
It’s not entirely clear why there is a partisan gap in the US and not in Canada or the UK.
It’s possible that what we’re seeing in the UK is an incumbent effect. That is, the leader in the UK is Conservative Party member Boris Johnson, and therefore Conservatives are more likely to line up behind the leader.
I would point out, though, that Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a Liberal Party member, and the vaccination gap by party isn’t as wide up there as it is in the States.
If the US were similar to these two other countries with regard to vaccination rates by age and race and ethnicity, the partisan gap in vaccines could be larger, because younger and minority groups are more likely to be Democrats.
Either way, the partisan gap is huge in the US compared with two of its closest allies with similar access to vaccines. If it didn’t exist, we’d be in far better shape when fighting the pandemic.
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