The survey put several vaccine theories to Americans. The idea that vaccines cause autism isn’t bought by 81% of Americans. Likewise, 87% say COVID-19 is not a hoax. However, fewer – 59% – reject the idea that the threat of coronavirus has been exaggerated for political reasons. These are much the same results as in March, at the start of the pandemic.
Belief in all three of conspiracy theories is higher among Republicans than Democrats, though the link to autism shows the smallest partisan difference. Believing any of these statements makes one less likely to be willing to get vaccinated. Only a third of those who believe the threat of coronavirus has been exaggerated say they will get vaccinated, just over one in five who say the coronavirus is a hoax will get vaccinated, and even fewer of those who believe vaccines cause autism would.