More than 70% of Americans who took part in a recent survey said they plan to receive the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine.
In a new survey released from the Kaiser Family Foundation on Tuesday, some 71% of respondents said they will “definitely or probably” get the vaccine. The 71% is an increase compared to results from September when 63% of respondents said they would receive the jab.
“Following on the heels of the presidential election and promising news about several COVID-19 vaccine candidates, the new survey finds an increase in the share who say they would get vaccinated across racial and ethnic groups, and among both Democrats and Republicans (willingness to get vaccinated among independents has not changed),” the foundation said when sharing the results of the survey.
The survey also found that 34% of respondents said they would get the vaccine “as soon as possible” when it becomes widely available. Meanwhile, 39% said they would “wait and see” how the vaccine works for others before deciding to get it themselves.
About 9% said they would only get the vaccine if it was required by their employer or school, while 15% of respondents said that they “definitely would not” receive the vaccine, “even if it was free and determined to be safe by scientists.”
Overall, about 27% of respondents remain “vaccine-hesitant,” the survey found, meaning they “probably or definitely would not” get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on national health issues, said the last group “is likely to be the hardest to convince, given that they have low trust in public health messengers, very low rates of flu vaccination, and high rates of believing misinformation about other public health measures, like mask-wearing.”
“Vaccine hesitancy is highest among Republicans (42%), those ages 30-49 (36%), and rural residents (35%),” the foundation said.
Additionally, some 35% of Black adults — which the Kaiser Family Foundation noted have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic —said they would “definitely or probably would not get vaccinated,” “as do one-third of those who say they have been deemed essential workers (33%) and three in ten (29%) of those who work in a health care delivery setting,” per the survey.
For those who were hesitant to receive the jab, 59% said they are concerned about possible side effects, while 55% cited a “lack of trust in the government to ensure the vaccines’ safety and effectiveness.” Another 53% said they were concerned that the vaccine is too new, while about 51% cited “concerns over the role of politics in the development process.”
“About half of Black adults who say they probably or definitely won’t get vaccinated cite as major reasons that they don’t trust vaccines in general (47%) or that they are worried they may get COVID-19 from the vaccine (50%), suggesting that messages combatting particular types of misinformation may be especially important for increasing vaccine confidence among this group,” the survey found. (It is important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] has said that COVID-19 vaccines cannot give you COVID-19.)
“Understanding who the public trusts for reliable vaccine information will be critical for any COVID-19 vaccination outreach effort. The survey finds that, as with many health topics, people’s personal health care providers are the most trusted source for information on COVID-19 vaccines, with 85% saying they trust their own doctor or health care provider at least a fair amount for reliable vaccine information,” the survey conductors wrote.
“Some local, state, and national messengers – including the CDC, FDA, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and state and local health officials – are trusted by majorities of the public as well, but trust in these government-affiliated sources divides somewhat on partisan lines, with Democrats tending to express higher levels of trust than Republicans.”
You can read more of the survey’s findings here.