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.

Intentions
  • Nearly Half Of Parents Of 12-17 Year Olds Say Their Child Has Received At Least One Dose Of The COVID-19 Vaccine

    Five months after the FDA granted emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine’s use in children ages 12 and over, nearly half (48%) of parents of children ages 12-17 say their child has received at least one dose of a vaccine. The share of parents who say they want to “wait and see” before getting their 12-17 year old vaccinated has decreased to 15%, down from 23% in July. Just 4% of parents say they will only get their teenager vaccinated “if their school requires it,” and one in five (21%) say they will “definitely not” vaccinate their child, similar to the share measured in previous months.

  • A Third Of Parents Of 5 To 11 Year Olds Say They Will Vaccinate Their Child Right Away Once A Vaccine Is Available For Their Age Group

    The KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor finds that about a third of parents (34%) say they will vaccinate their 5-11 year old child “right away” once a vaccine is authorized for their age group. About a third of parents (32%) say they will “wait and see” how the vaccine is working before having their 5-11 year old vaccinated. Notably, the share who say they definitely won’t get their 5-11 year old vaccinated remains steady at one in four (24%).

  • 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
  • Gap In Vaccine Enthusiasm Between White Adults And Hispanic And Black Adults Has Narrowed Over Time

  • Democrats Remain Most Enthusiastic About COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Vaccine Intentions Among Rural Residents Indicate Uptake Lags Behind Urban And Suburban

messages and information
  • 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%).

Messengers
Concerns or Barriers
  • Most Unvaccinated Adults Say Getting Vaccinated Is A Bigger Risk To Their Health Than The Coronavirus

    Unvaccinated adults, especially those who say they will “definitely not” get a vaccine, are more likely to believe that getting the vaccine is a bigger risk to their own health than getting the virus. Half of unvaccinated adults and 75% of those who say they will "definitely not" get the vaccine say the vaccine poses a bigger risk to their health can becoming infected with coronavirus. Half of those unvaccinated adults who want to "wait and see" before getting vaccinated and the vast majority (88%) of vaccinated adults say the virus poses a bigger risk.

  • Majorities Of U.S. Adults Are Worried New Variants Will Lead To Worsening Of Pandemic

    Overall, nearly two-thirds of adults are worried the new variants of the coronavirus will lead to a worsening of the pandemic in the U.S., including 26% who are “very worried.” A majority are also worried that new variants will lead to a worsening of the pandemic in their local area. Fewer are worried they will personally get sick from a new variant of the coronavirus. Vaccinated people report higher levels of concerns than unvaccinated people about new variants of the coronavirus.

experiences
  • More Than Half Of The Public Believe Or Are Unsure About Some Common COVID-19 Vaccine Myths

    The April KFF Vaccine Monitor finds that a majority of adults (54%) either believe some common misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines or are unsure whether these things are true or false. About one in four believe or are unsure whether you can get COVID-19 from the vaccine and one in five believe or are unsure whether those who have already had COVID-19 should not get vaccinated, whether the vaccines contain fetal cells, have been shown to cause infertility, or that the vaccine can change your DNA. Among younger adults ages 18 to 29, four in ten (42%) say they have heard that the COVID-19 has been shown to cause infertility, and about one in four either are unsure if that is true (22%) or believe that is true (5%).

  • Majorities Of Women, Independents, Republicans And Younger Adults Believe Or Are Unsure About At Least One Myth About The Vaccine

    A larger share of women (58%) than men (50%) believe or be unsure about at least one common myth surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. Likewise, younger adults are more likely than those 65 and older to believe or be unsure about a vaccine myth. Across partisans, majorities of Republicans (58%) and independents (56%) believe or are unsure about at least one vaccine myth, compared to a smaller share of Democrats (43%).

 

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.