Americans ending friendships over COVID vaccination status, survey shows

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The pandemic and vaccine are causing friends to break up. That’s according to a recent survey by a company called OnePoll.

A survey of one thousand people taken on September 2, 2021, found 14 percent of Americans have ended a friendship with another person because they would not get vaccinated.

Dr. Tracey Johnson is a mental health specialist with the company Concerned EAP. 

“Because it involves life and death and because it has been politicized, it is effecting friendships and families in ways we would have never thought possible,” Dr. Johnson told FOX13.

FOX13 asked Dr. Johnson what people should do and whether breaking up a friendship should be an option.

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“It should not cause you to have to do that because I understand you checked the box if you chose not to be vaccinated. So we are going to have to change the dynamics of this friendship where you might not want to socialize with them in the same way, ”Dr. Johnson said.

That is unless you are like two people FOX13 found who are married.  One is vaccinated, and the other is not.  

“This is our choice,” said Crys Jae. “This is my wife. It was her choice, and this is my choice.”  

“I try not to separate myself from any one of my friends. I am not worried about it. I have been vaccinated,” Tommy Channell added.

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Dr. Johnson said friends and family should talk about the issue and any discomfort it might cause.

“Just like it is a personal choice to be vaccinated or not, you also have the personal choice to decide how this person is going to still be in your life,” said Dr. Johnson, who said she is hearing from people who tell her they might have to raise this issue when coming up with a guest list for Thanksgiving and the holidays.