Even the best of friends break up over it. Vaccinated Americans have called it quits with friends who refused to get the COVID-19 shot.

Our survey of 1,000 Americans – conducted on Sept. 2 – examined why people have ended friendships in the last year and a half and found 16% of respondents have axed three pals from their lives since the pandemic began in March 2020

Of those who ended a friendship, 66% are vaccinated and 17% don’t ever plan to receive the shot. 

Fourteen percent of vaccinated respondents said they parted ways with friends who didn’t want to get inoculated.

Rachel waves Au Revoir in Friends

Even “Friends” star Jennifer Aniston ended friendships over the vaccine. 

“There’s still a large group of people who are anti-vaxxers or just don’t listen to the facts. It’s a real shame. I’ve just lost a few people in my weekly routine who have refused or did not disclose [whether or not they had been vaccinated], and it was unfortunate”

Aniston revealed to InStyle in an interview published on Aug. 3 2021.

On a break?

The data showed other reasons friends broke up – whether vaccinated or not – were:
Having different political views (16%)
Dating or sleeping with an ex (15%)
Making up rumors about them (12%)
Being liars (7%).

A vast majority of vaccinated people (97%) consider their ex-friends to be “full-blown anti-vaxxers” and said they could never get them to understand the importance of the vaccine. 

Those respondents shared why their former friends didn’t want to get vaccinated – from not believing in vaccines to claiming the COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t work.

Many unvaccinated people said it was a personal choice because they’re worried about potential side effects. Others said they’re healthy and don’t need the vaccine, while some expressed distrust. 

Political differences

The study also looked into how the different political parties view the vaccine as politicization continues to rise. 

A majority of Democrats (81%) are fully vaccinated, as well as 64% of Republicans, 69% of Independents and 41% of third-party supporters.

Meanwhile, 7% of Democrats shared they didn’t receive the vaccine, followed by 23% of Republicans, 20% of Independents and 27% of third party supporters who haven’t gotten the shot. 

Surprisingly, many Democrats (41%) feel society is too critical of unvaccinated people, and over half of Republicans (57%) echo that sentiment. However, 12% of Democrats and 5% of Republicans disagree society is harsh on unvaccinated people. 

Overall, 61% of vaccinated people feel “very confident” in their decision to get the shot, compared to 33% of people who feel the same about not getting inoculated.  

And as to where people get their information about the vaccine, the top places are:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (45%)
  • Their doctor or local clinic (42%)
  • Medical experts such as their state health commissioner (39%)
  • The news (31%)

People also said they do their research online (26%), and 19% turn to social media to get their COVID-19 information.

This online study was conducted by OnePoll on September 2nd 2021 with a sample of 1,000 Americans.
OnePoll infographic: Vaccines and friendships survey results