Voices of the Unvaccinated

We hear from a few of the estimated 90 million Americans who are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine but have chosen not to get it.

Produced by Annie Brown and Neena Pathak

Edited by Lisa Chow and M.J. Davis Lin

Original music by Elisheba Ittoop and Dan Powell

Engineered by Chris Wood

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With the Delta variant of the coronavirus raging across the United States, focus has turned to the millions of people in the country who have chosen not to be vaccinated against it.

But why not get inoculated at this point in the pandemic?

Don, a 38-year-old single father from Pittsburg, doesn’t want to be lumped into the “crazy anti-vax crowd” and rejects conspiracy theories about Bill Gates and Democratic malice. His rationale for not getting vaccinated: “I’m just not an early adopter of anything really.”

Jeannie, who lives with her teenage son, husband and 64-year-old mother, is staunchly against vaccines. Her 14-year-old has never been vaccinated.

Yet Lyndsey, a woman from Florida, expressed regret. Her family had decided against having her grandmother inoculated — and she died from the coronavirus.

We hear from some Americans who have decided not to get a Covid vaccine.

On today’s episode

Jan Hoffman, a reporter covering behavioral health and health law for The New York Times.

Sophie Kasakove, a reporting fellow for The Times’s National Desk.

Background reading

Who are the unvaccinated in America? There’s no single answer.

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Transcripts of each episode are available by the next workday. You can find them at the top of the page.

Jan Hoffman and Sophie Kasakove contributed reporting.

The Daily is made by Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Kaitlin Roberts, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Soraya Shockley, Corey Schreppel, Anita Badejo, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop and Chelsea Daniel.

Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Theo Balcomb, Cliff Levy, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Nora Keller, Sofia Milan, Desiree Ibekwe, Erica Futterman, Wendy Dorr and Elizabeth Davis-Moorer.

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