Millennials, Gen Zers are cutting ties with unvaccinated, creating own vaccine mandates

Millennials most concerned with unvaccinated in their lives, survey suggests

A proof of vaccination sign is posted at a bar in San Francisco on Thursday, July 29, 2021. Until now, many employers had taken a passive approach to their unvaccinated workers, relying outreach and incentives. But that has been shifting, with vaccine mandates gaining momentum. (AP Photo/Haven Daley) (Haven Daley, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

About one-third of Millennials and Gen Zers have cut ties with friends, family members or acquaintances who will not get the COVID-19 vaccine.

This is according to a survey from Axios and The Harris Poll. They surveyed 1,334 U.S. adults in August 2021 and categorized them by generation.

The survey results show:

  • 33% of Millennials say they have cuts ties with somebody in their life over not getting vaccinated against COVID-19
  • 30% of Gen Zers, 9% of Gen Xers and 7% of Baby Boomers say the same

“It’s the new cultural dividing line,” John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll, told Axios. “Three in 10 Gen Zers, and even more millennials, have ghosted friends who would not get vaccinated.”

Out of those four generations, Millennials are most likely to have young children who are not eligible for the vaccine -- it’s not available to anyone under 12 years old. This could be a contributing factor to the generation’s concern for the virus as they worry about their unvaccinated children.

Moreover, older Americans, including Baby Boomers, have higher vaccination rates. Baby Boomers probably know fewer unvaccinated people as 90.1% of Americans 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared with 59.7% of the overall U.S. population, according to the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine tracker. Only about 57% of American Millennials (age 25-39) have received at least one dose of the vaccine. That means the survey data suggests the majority of vaccinated Millennials, who are most likely to have young children, are cutting ties with the unvaccinated in their lives.

In Michigan, 78.8% of residents age 65-74 have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of Aug. 17 while 47.6% of residents age 30-39 have received at least one dose.

As the country enters another surge of COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant, more employers have announced plans to mandate the vaccine. Health officials and school administrators are bracing for a fall semester amid the pandemic as they issue mask mandates. Many Americans are now preparing to get their third dose of the vaccine.

Back in May 2021, ClickOnDetroit conducted a survey of site members that revealed 31% of the 1,173 respondents said they were choosing not to see people in their lives who were eligible but refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Survey results: How are you handling those in your life who refuse COVID vaccine?