News Release

Who Remains Unvaccinated? A COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor Analysis

As more people across the country get at least an initial dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, public health officials are increasingly trying to reach the shrinking pool of unvaccinated adults – now roughly a third of all adults.

The latest KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor report explores this group’s demographic profile and finds that, compared to vaccinated adults, unvaccinated adults are younger and more likely to identify as Republican or Republican-leaning. They also have lower levels of education and income and are more likely to be uninsured.

Most (56%) are White adults, though large shares are Black (14%) and Hispanic (19%) adults, who are somewhat less likely to have received an initial dose than White adults are.

Among unvaccinated adults, there are significant differences between those who say they want to “wait and see” before getting a vaccine (12% of all adults) and those who say they will “definitely not” get one (13% of all adults).

While most in both groups live in suburban areas, the “wait and see” group includes a larger share of urban residents (37% v. 17%), while the “definitely not” group includes a larger share of rural residents (23% v. 11%).

The “wait and see” group is roughly evenly divided between White adults (49%) and people of color (51%), including many Black (22%) and Hispanic (20%) adults. They are also about as likely to say they are Democrats or Democrat-leaning (39%) as Republican or Republican-leaning (41%).

In contrast, those who say they will “definitely not” get a vaccine are largely White adults (70%) and Republican or Republican-leaning (67%).

The vast majority of the “definitely not” group (83%) and nearly half of the “wait and see” group (45%) also say that the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic has been “generally exaggerated” in the news. Among those who have been vaccinated, just 22% say so.

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.