Does The Public Want To Get A COVID-19 Vaccine? When?

An ongoing research project tracking the public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations.

  • Nearly Half Of Parents Say Their 12-17 Year Old Has Gotten The Vaccine, Yet About Three In Ten Say They Won't Get Their Teen Vaccinated

    The latest KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor suggests a slowdown in vaccination uptake among 12 to 17 year-olds with about half of parents of teens (46%) saying their child has received at least one dose of a vaccine, similar to the share who said the same in September (48%). Just 4% of parents say they want to get their 12 to 17 year old vaccinated right away while about one in ten parents (11%) say they want to “wait and see” before getting their teen vaccinated. Notably, three in ten parents (31%) say they definitely will not get their 12 to 17 year old vaccinated.

  • Three In Ten Parents Say They Will Definitely Not Get Their 5 To 11 Year Old Vaccinated

    Pfizer’s announcement in September that their COVID-19 vaccine was shown to be safe and effective for children ages five to eleven in clinical trials seems to have had little impact on parents’ intentions to vaccinate their children in that age group. The KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor finds that about three in ten parents (27%) say they will vaccinate their 5-11 year old child “right away” once a vaccine is authorized for their age group – statistically similar to shares who said the same in September and in July. A third of parents say they will “wait and see” how the vaccine is working before having their 5-11 year old vaccinated while three in ten say they definitely won’t get their 5-11 year old vaccinated (30%) and 5% say they will only do so if their school requires it.

  • In Their Own Words: Vast Majorities Of Those Who Wanted To Get Vaccinated ASAP Have Received Vaccine, As Have Slightly More Than Half Of Those Who Wanted To "Wait And See"

    Six months after being initially interviewed, the latest Monitor report recontacted individuals and found the vast majority (92%) of those who planned to get vaccinated “as soon as possible” in early 2021 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as have slightly more than half (54%) of individuals who had previously said they wanted to “wait and see” before getting vaccinated. On the other hand, a majority (76%) of people who had previously said they would “only get vaccinated if required” or said they would “definitely not” get a COVID-19 vaccine remain unvaccinated.

  • In Their Own Words: Most Vaccine Behaviors Match What People Planned To Do Six Months Ago; One In Five Were Either Vaccine Hesitant Or Resistant And Have Gotten Vaccinated

    Half of those who are currently vaccinated had reported back in January that they either had already received a dose or were planning on getting vaccinated as soon as possible. An additional one in five adults (21%) are now vaccinated after saying in January they planned on waiting to get vaccinated, would only get it if required, or would definitely not get vaccinated. One-third of adults remain unvaccinated after either planning to get it as soon as possible or were going to wait and see back in January (17%) or had said they were only going to get vaccinated if required or were definitely not getting a COVID-19 vaccine (16%).

Target Population Groups
  • Increase In COVID-19 Vaccine Enthusiasm Slows Across Racial And Ethnic Group

  • Democrats Remain Most Enthusiastic About COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Vaccine Intentions Among Rural Residents Indicate Uptake May Soon Lag Behind Urban And Suburban Residents

messages and information
  • Nearly Eight In Ten Believe Or Are Unsure About At Least One Common Falsehood About COVID-19 Or The Vaccine

    Belief or uncertainty about COVID-19 misinformation is widespread, with nearly eight in ten adults saying they have heard at least one of eight different pieces of misinformation and either believe them to be true or are not sure whether they are true or false.

  • One-Third Believe Or Are Unsure About Four Or More False Statements About COVID-19

    One-third of adults (32%) say they have heard at least four false statements about COVID-19 and believe them to be true or are uncertain if they’re true or false. The shares who believe a large number of false statements are highest among unvaccinated adults, Republicans, and those living in rural areas.

  • Higher-Income Parents More Likely To Say Their Child’s School Has Provided COVID-19 Vaccine Information Or Encouraged Vaccination

    Among parents of children ages 12-17 who are enrolled in school for the upcoming school year, about four in ten (42%) say the school has provided them with information about how to get a COVID-19 vaccine for their child and a similar share (40%) say the school has encouraged parents to get their children vaccinated. Higher-income parents are more likely than those with lower incomes to say their child’s school did either of these things.

  • Parents Whose Child’s School Encouraged COVID-19 Vaccination Or Provided Information Are More Likely To Say Child Is Vaccinated

    Parents of 12-17 year-olds who say their child’s school provided information about COVID-19 vaccination are more likely than those whose school did not provide information to say their child has received a COVID-19 vaccine (58% vs. 32%). Similarly, about twice as many parents whose school encouraged vaccination report that their child is vaccinated compared to those whose schools did not (62% vs. 30%).

Concerns or Barriers
  • Majority Of Adults Now Say They Feel Frustrated About Status Of COVID-19 Vaccinations, Smaller Shares Are Optimistic Than They Were Back in January

    With reports of breakthrough cases, vaccine resistance, and upcoming winter surges, the American public is now more negative about the status of COVID-19 vaccination in the U.S. than they were at the beginning of the year – before people were eligible to receive shots. Feeling “frustrated” is now the most common emotion with more than half of adults (58%) say it describes how they feel about the current status of COVID-19 vaccinations in the country. And while two-thirds of the country felt “optimistic” back in January 2021, this has decreased to 48% this month and now a larger share of the public (31%) report feeling “angry” (compared to 23% back in January). A quarter of the public remain “confused” and four in ten say they are “satisfied.”

  • More Than A Third Of Unvaccinated Workers Say They Would Leave Their Job If Their Employer Required Vaccination Or Testing, Rising To Seven In Ten If No Testing Option Was Available

    When unvaccinated workers are asked what they would do if their employer required them to either get the COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, 11% say they would be most likely to get the vaccine, a plurality (46%) say they would opt for weekly testing, and over a third (37%) say they would be likely to leave their job. Among all adults, this translates to 1% who would get the vaccine if faced with an employer mandate and 5% who say they would leave their job. However, if their employer did not offer an option for weekly tested, the share of unvaccinated workers who say they would get the vaccine increases to 17% (2% of all adults) and the share saying they would leave their job increases to 72% (9% of all adults).


KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor is an ongoing research project tracking the public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations. Using a combination of surveys and qualitative research, the Monitor tracks the dynamic nature of public opinion as vaccine development and distribution unfold, including vaccine confidence and acceptance, information needs, trusted messengers and messages, as well as the public’s experiences with vaccination. A list of all Vaccine Monitor reports is available here.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.