NBC News poll contradicts CDC data on black and Hispanic vaccine hesitancy

Everything you have heard about vaccine hesitancy among blacks and Hispanics is wrong, according to a poll released this week by NBC News .

Neither group actually distrusts the coronavirus vaccines . On the contrary, an overwhelming number of blacks and Hispanics say they’re already vaccinated, according to the NBC survey.

This is great news, but it’s also at odds with federal data showing blacks and Hispanics are among the most hesitant to get the shot.

NBC staffers have been eager this week to share the poll’s unexpected findings. “Based on NBC poll, black voters were MOST likely to be vaccinated,” NBC White House correspondent Mike Memoli said this week, adding further, “And then this breakdown: 91% of Biden voters are already vaccinated vs. 50% of Trump voters. 27% of Trump voters say they won’t get vaccinated, vs 2% of Biden voters.”

The survey, which was conducted by Hart Research between Aug. 14-17, sampled 1,000 adults 18 and older. Of the 1,000 respondents polled for NBC’s survey, 790 of them are registered voters. The margin of error for the group is 3.1 percentage points, while the margin of error for the subset of registered voters is 3.49 percentage points.

The survey’s findings on black and Hispanic attitudes toward the vaccine include replies from all respondents, not just the “registered voters,” Hart Research told the Washington Examiner.

The NBC poll provides a demographic breakdown of “attitudes toward the vaccine.”

Sixty-six percent of all white respondents say they’re already vaccinated. Meanwhile, 71% of Hispanics claim the same, while an astounding 76% of blacks claim likewise.

However, the Kaiser Family Foundation , which compiles data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports something entirely different regarding vaccination rates among blacks and Hispanics.

“While White adults account for the largest share (57%) of unvaccinated adults,” the group reported this week, “Black and Hispanic people remain less likely than their White counterparts to have received a vaccine, leaving them at increased risk, particularly as the variant spreads.”

The CDC has data on more than 202 million people who have been given at least one vaccine dose. Of this data, the CDC has the reported race and ethnicity of at least 58% of those people. The data show that a full 58% of the people who say they’ve already had one shot are white, while 10% in this same category are black, 17% are Hispanic, and 6% are Asian.

Further, CDC data on the known race and ethnicity of those who have received at least one dose show that of the total U.S. population that has been vaccinated, whites account for 61%, while Hispanics (17%), blacks (12%), and Asians (6%) account for a much smaller share.

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s own analysis of vaccination rates among specific racial demographics shows something similar.

Of the percent of the total population that has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose between March 1 and Aug. 16, Asians take first place with 67%. Whites come in second place at 50%, while Hispanics and blacks take up the rear with 45% and 40%, respectively.

So, why this discrepancy between the CDC and Kaiser data and the NBC News poll’s findings?

A few things may explain the major differences.

For starters, Hart Research told the Washington Examiner this week they surveyed only adults 18 and older. Federal data accounts for everyone who has been vaccinated, including minors. Secondly, of the 1,000 respondents surveyed by Hart Research for its NBC News poll, black respondents account for only 13%, while Hispanics account for only 4%. This means Hart surveyed 130 black respondents and only 40 Hispanic respondents.

Those are very small sample sizes and very likely to produce erroneous results.

Still, this may not fully explain the differences between what the survey’s findings and what the CDC and Kaiser report.

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