Only 62% of Fox viewers are vaccinated compared to 83% for CNN and MSNBC, poll shows

Fox News viewers are behind general public while consumers of other media outlets speed ahead

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 27 July 2021 16:04 BST

Fox News host Sean Hannity tells viewers to ‘ take Covid seriously’

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Viewers of Fox News are less likely to get vaccinated than those whose main news sources are other networks, according to a combined sample of two recent polls.

Only 62 per cent of Fox News viewers have received at least one dose of the vaccine compared to 83 per cent for those who mainly watch CNN and MSNBC.

The Ipsos poll found that 70 per cent of all adults have received at least one dose, a similar figure to the number produced by the CDC.

This leaves Fox News consumers eight per cent behind the general public. With news consumers whose main source is not Fox News, the figures are the opposite – they are ahead of the public at large.

Among those who watch mostly network news – such as CBS, ABC, and NBC – 79 per cent have received at least one dose. They’re four per cent behind the viewers of CNN and MSNBC, but nine per cent ahead of the general public. CNN and MSNBC viewers are 21 per cent ahead of Fox News viewers in terms of vaccinations.

Around 74 per cent of those whose main news source is public television or radio – such as PBS and NPR – were at least partially vaccinated.

Most media outlets have been urging their readers, viewers, and listeners to get vaccinated, but many Fox News hosts have previously used anti-vaccine rhetoric in their programming.

But just within the last week, many hosts at Fox News have changed their tune, possibly because members of their audience, which skews Republican, are less likely to get vaccinated.

Recent data show that of all those who are dying from Covid-19 right now, 99.5 per cent are unvaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During a CNN town hall with anchor Don Lemon on Wednesday, President Joe Biden said: “One of those other networks – they’re not a big fan of mine, one you talk about a lot – but if you notice, as they say in the southern part of my state, they’ve had an altar call, some of those guys.”

“All of a sudden they’re out there saying, ‘Let’s get vaccinated, let’s get vaccinated.’ The very people before this were saying – I shouldn’t make fun of it, that’s good. It’s good,” Mr Biden added. “You just have to keep telling your truth.”

Fox News viewers are more likely to be Republican, and GOP voters are more likely to be vaccine-sceptic. It remains unclear if watching Fox News makes you less willing to get vaccinated, or if viewers of the network are predisposed to be vaccine-hesitant.

The most recent Ipsos poll was conducted in mid-July. Similar polls conducted between mid-April to mid-June shows similar vaccination rates for Fox News viewers, possibly indicating that viewers of the network have reached a ceiling of those willing to get inoculated.

During the same time period, the share of all adults who have received at least one dose went from 63 to 70 per cent. The vaccination rate among CNN and MSNBC views jumped nine per cent, from 74 to 83 per cent.

The vaccination rate among network news viewers went from just below 75 per cent to just above 79 per cent.

So far, older Americanhave been more willing to get vaccinated compared to younger Americans.

Many of those who watch TV news are older. The average age of a Fox News viewer in the poll was 55, while the average age for all included in the poll was 48. But even though older Americans are more likely to get vaccinated and Fox News viewers are older, the network still has a low vaccination rate among its viewers.

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