Perceptions of COVID-19 vaccine side effects by political affiliation

David Farabee, Angela Hawken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We sought to assess the extent to which subjective experiences of COVID-19 vaccine side effects among US adults are associated with political party identification. Methods: An online survey was conducted of a national sample of US adults (N = 1259) identifying as either Republican or Democrat. Results: There was no significant difference by party identification in the perceived severity of vaccination side effects; however, Republicans were significantly less likely to recommend the vaccine to others in light of their experience (OR = 0.40; 95% CI, 0.31-0.51; P < 0.001). Republicans also reported having a larger share of COVID-19-vaccinated friends and family who experienced notable side effects (OR = 1.31; 95% CI, 1.02-1.68; P < 0.05). There was a positive association between respondents' perceived side-effect severity and the proportion of peers who also reported notable side effects (r = 0.43; P < 0.001). Conclusion: Subjective appraisals of the vaccinated may affect broader vaccine acceptability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)930-934
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Public Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2023


  • bias
  • COVID-19
  • perceptions
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • side effects
  • vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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