Where To Start To Build Vaccine Confidence

In this Axios column Drew Altman writes about the recent attention to Republican vaccine resisters. “Republicans and rural Americans are among the most resistant vaccine holdouts and some strategies are emerging to reach them.” But “far from all Republicans are resisters” and “the bigger and quicker payoff will come from prioritizing the more moveable group of ‘wait and see’ Americans.”

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Vaccine Confidence Isn’t The Main Obstacle To Reaching Herd Immunity

In this Axios column, Drew Altman paints a more optimistic picture of the prospects for getting to herd immunity as vaccine confidence grows, but underscores the urgency of building vaccine confidence in Black and Latino communities where barriers to access and good information are obstacles to getting vaccinated.

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Seeing Others Vaccinated May Be The Best Cure For Vaccine Hesitancy

In his latest Axios column, Drew Altman shows why vaccine hesitancy will naturally decrease as more and more people see their family members and friends vaccinated without adverse consequences. It’s a hopeful sign about vaccine hesitancy, and should help free up resources to focus on the remaining vaccine hesitant.

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How Quickly We Need To Ramp Up Vaccinations To Get To Herd Immunity

Debate about how many vaccinations are needed by when has been in the news. Drew Altman lays it out in his latest column.

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We Need a Better Way Of Distributing the COVID-19 Vaccine. Here’s How To Do It.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, KFF President Drew Altman calls for a simplification of the troubled COVID-19 vaccine distribution system.

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The Challenge Of Vaccine Hesitancy In Rural America

In his latest Axios column, Drew Altman looks at the challenge of vaccine hesitancy in rural America and its implications. One of them: a highly tailored outreach campaign is needed. “Addressing this hesitancy will require convincing rural Americans about the seriousness of the pandemic, and then that the vaccine is a way to protect them, their families and their way of life,” he said.

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                    [post_content] => A shorter version of this column has been published by Axios.

Lots of attention has been given recently to Republican vaccine resisters, and while far from all Republicans are vaccine resisters, Republicans are among the groups likely to say they will not get vaccinated.  But the group to really focus on to make rapid progress is the “wait and see group”. It includes about equal shares of Democrats, Independents and Republicans who are more persuadable than the harder core vaccine resisters are.

The “no” group hasn’t changed in size in months while the wait and see group has been shrinking. The wait and see group also includes larger shares of people of color hardest hit by the pandemic. One reason to emphasize the more persuadable as part of a broader effort: as more people get vaccinated it will build public confidence in the vaccines as well as progress towards herd immunity.

Vaccine resisters say either they will not get the vaccine unless they are required to, or flat out say they will not get vaccinated no matter what. Three groups of resisters stand out: Republicans, (38% of them are resisters), rural Americans (28%), and essential workers who do not work in health (32%). They have various reasons for not wanting to get the vaccine: among them, denying the severity of the pandemic. Strategies are emerging to address their concerns.

But if you look at those who are waiting to decide - the wait and see group - Black adults (34% of Black adults) and young adults (33%) stand out, with Latinos not too far behind (26%). Their concerns, among many, center around worries about side effects from the vaccine and its cost (it is free).

The wait and see group has been shrinking, suggesting they can be moved as they see others vaccinated and as informational and access barriers are addressed. The size of the group dropped from 39% in December to 22% in February. By contrast, the harder core resistance has not budged since December.

Building vaccine confidence is a multi dimensional challenge and no group can be ignored, including of course Republicans. Rural Americans in particular deserve their fair share of attention and so far they are not getting it. But the best strategy for building vaccine confidence would focus heavily on the wait and see groups to produce early results to build on. And, the wait and see groups include larger shares of people color who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
                    [post_title] => Where To Start To Build Vaccine Confidence
                    [post_excerpt] => In this Axios column Drew Altman writes about the recent attention to Republican vaccine resisters. “Republicans and rural Americans are among the most resistant vaccine holdouts and some strategies are emerging to reach them." But “far from all Republicans are resisters” and “the bigger and quicker payoff will come from prioritizing the more moveable group of 'wait and see' Americans.”
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                    [post_content] => A shorter version of this column has been published by Axios.

The share of the overall population that does not want to get vaccinated is small enough already that the U.S. should be able to reach herd immunity even if Americans who are most reluctant to get the vaccine do not change their minds.

New data from our KFF Vaccine Monitor show that 55% of adults are either already vaccinated at least once or plan to get vaccinated as soon as they can, and another 22% are in a “wait and see” group. That group has been shrinking. Think of them like persuadable swing voters. Many are likely to get vaccinated as they see family members and friends and neighbors vaccinated without adverse effect. The “wait and see group” should be the focus of vaccine confidence building efforts, especially in Black and Latino communities where the need for building vaccine confidence and addressing information needs and barriers to access is the most urgent.

Seven percent say they will only get vaccinated if they are required to at work and another 15% – the real hard core no vote – say they don’t want to get vaccinated. These numbers haven’t really budged since December. Employers can't require vaccination while vaccines are operating under emergency authorizations but can with limitations once they have final approval.

Even if the vaccine resisters don’t switch – some of whom have been infected and may carry some degree of protection -- it’s pretty easy to see how the country could get to 70% of adults vaccinated or more. That doesn’t include kids, who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine. Once they are, we can imagine them getting vaccinated at similar or greater rates than adults given the pressure for them to return to school as safely as possible.

Many lower income and working people are not vaccine hesitant so much as they can’t access vaccine sites, aren’t on the internet or don’t have a laptop, are not internet savvy or just don’t have hours every day to sit by the computer tying to navigate websites. Sharing family stories of problems getting a vaccine appointment on a website may be the new America pastime, but in some ways it’s a mark of privilege as well.
                    [post_title] => Vaccine Confidence Isn’t The Main Obstacle To Reaching Herd Immunity
                    [post_excerpt] => In this Axios column, Drew Altman paints a more optimistic picture of the prospects for getting to herd immunity as vaccine confidence grows, but underscores the urgency of building vaccine confidence in Black and Latino communities where barriers to access and good information are obstacles to getting vaccinated. 
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                    [post_content] => A shorter version of this column has been published by Axios.

Knowing someone who has been vaccinated and seeing that the vaccine does not produce any significant adverse effects is emerging as the leading reason people are willing to get vaccinated themselves. It means that vaccine hesitancy will diminish naturally as more and more people are vaccinated, leaving smaller groups of the remaining vaccine hesitant to focus more resources on.

Less than ten percent of us have been vaccinated so far. But the share of us who know someone who has been vaccinated is much higher, at 41 percent in mid-January. That really matters because half (52%) of those who know someone else who has been vaccinated say they will get the vaccine “as soon as they can” compared to 37% of those who do not know someone who’s been vaccinated.

People also tell us they are closely watching those they know. When we ask people who they want to see get vaccinated before doing it themselves, their close friends and family members are at the top of the list.

As with everything COVID this varies by race and income. White adults (51%) are more likely than their Black and Latino counterparts (38% and 37%, respectively) to say they’ve either been vaccinated or know someone who has. And those with incomes of $90,000 or more are almost twice as likely as those with incomes below $40,000 to say they’ve been vaccinated or know someone who has (65% vs. 33%).

As vaccine hesitancy diminishes, efforts can focus most on the groups most likely to be persistently vaccine resistant, including in the Black community and rural America.

And messaging in ads can emphasize regular people everyone can relate to like they do to their friends and family, getting vaccinated without adverse consequences.
                    [post_title] => Seeing Others Vaccinated May Be The Best Cure For Vaccine Hesitancy
                    [post_excerpt] => In his latest Axios column, Drew Altman shows why vaccine hesitancy will naturally decrease as more and more people see their family members and friends vaccinated without adverse consequences. It’s a hopeful sign about vaccine hesitancy, and should help free up resources to focus on the remaining vaccine hesitant.
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A shorter version of this column has been published by Axios. The country needs to ramp up vaccinations rapidly if we are to reach herd immunity by, say, July 4th our Independence Day, Labor Day, or even by the beginning of next year. Some basic math and assumptions paint the picture: + We need to  average 2.4 million doses a day starting now to reach the point where 70% of the population is vaccinated by July 4th (assuming two doses needed per person).  There are many estimates out there of what’s needed for herd immunity, and that’s probably the bare minimum. It’s also harder than it sounds, because kids aren’t being vaccinated right now, so we need to reach the vast majority of adults, which means overcoming hesitancy where it exists. + It's 1.9 million doses to reach it by Labor Day. + And 1.2 million doses per day if we achieve the goal by January 1, 2022. Some believe vaccination could be delayed somewhat for people who have been infected, reducing the target numbers that need to be reached immediately. Last Friday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 1.6 million vaccinations were given across the U.S. and yesterday the Biden administration revised its goal to 1.5 million shots per day for the first 100 days.  If the administration uses that time to begin to put measures in place such as mobile vaccination clinics, mass vaccination sites, more pharmacy-based vaccination and other steps described in the Biden strategy to replace the current broken vaccination non-system with one that works, it seems reasonable to expect a  ramp up in the numbers of shots in arms after that.  Increasing to two to three million vaccinations per day by late Spring or early Summer seems doable. The most important goal to be achieved is not a single number in a hundred days or two hundred days, but a steady increase in vaccinations towards the level the country needs to ultimately reach. The experienced team appointed by the president should add to confidence the job will get done, but they will inevitably need to adapt on the fly as new problems emerge, including potentially new vaccine variants. Yes but: the limiting factor may be the supply of vaccine. That too seems somewhat hopeful with J+J/Janssen and then others from AstraZeneca and Novavax expected to come on line. And, the J&J vaccine is expected to be a single dose rather than two, so it would mean fewer overall doses are needed. Still, the biggest mystery remains what the supply of vaccine is expected to be and when new approved vaccines will be ready, even if everything breaks favorably.
[post_title] => How Quickly We Need To Ramp Up Vaccinations To Get To Herd Immunity [post_excerpt] => Debate about how many vaccinations are needed by when has been in the news. Drew Altman lays it out in his latest column. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-quickly-we-need-to-ramp-up-vaccinations-to-get-to-herd-immunity [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-01-26 06:05:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-01-26 11:05:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.kff.org/?post_type=perspective&p=509500 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => perspective [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 508078 [post_author] => 36621681 [post_date] => 2021-01-12 12:31:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-01-12 17:31:23 [post_content] =>
In an op-ed for The Washington Post, KFF President Drew Altman calls for a simplification of the troubled COVID-19 vaccine distribution system. He writes, “Hundreds of different distribution programs are being organized across the states and counties for front-line health workers, residents of long-term care facilities, essential workers, the elderly and the general public, all in different sequences. The system we have makes sense on paper, but it’s too complex to be effectively implemented by our fragmented, multi-layered health system.” "The country needs a distribution strategy that our fragmented, multi-layered health-care system can effectively implement. This will require more federal direction, a simpler priority structure and a different role for the states," he adds.
[post_title] => We Need a Better Way Of Distributing the COVID-19 Vaccine. Here’s How To Do It. [post_excerpt] => In an op-ed for The Washington Post, KFF President Drew Altman calls for a simplification of the troubled COVID-19 vaccine distribution system. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => we-need-a-better-way-of-distributing-the-covid-19-vaccine-heres-how-to-do-it [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-01-12 13:00:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-01-12 18:00:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.kff.org/?post_type=perspective&p=508078 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => perspective [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 507994 [post_author] => 36621681 [post_date] => 2021-01-12 05:00:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-01-12 10:00:43 [post_content] =>
A shorter version of this column has been published by Axios. Getting shots into arms in rural Americans, most of whom see getting the vaccine as a personal choice and not a social responsibility to protect others, is a problem that will require tailored outreach and messaging. It underscores that a cookie cutter approach to vaccine hesitancy campaigns will not work. Even as coronavirus surges in rural America rural residents are more vaccine hesitant than their suburban or urban counterparts and just as hesitant as Black Americans are, a group which has been singled out for their vaccine hesitancy. + 35% of rural Americans say they either will not or probably will not get it. That compares with 26% of urban Americans who say the same thing and is the same overall level of hesitancy we see for Blacks. People living in rural America are no less likely than people in urban or suburban areas to know someone who has tested positive or died from coronavirus, they have other reasons for their hesitancy. + They are less worried than their urban counterparts that someone in their family will get sick from the virus. + And more rural Americans say the pandemic is exaggerated compared to people in the suburbs and the cities. This isn’t just because rural residents are more likely to be Republicans and support President Trump.  Analysis shows that their hesitancy and lack of worry about COVID-19 extends beyond their partisanship. Strikingly, 62% of rural residents see getting vaccinated as a personal choice compared with 36% who see it as part of their responsibility to protect the health of others in the community. Its just the opposite for people in urban areas. The data suggest that addressing hesitancy in rural America will require convincing rural Americans about the seriousness of the pandemic and then reaching them with an almost second amendment-like appeal: that the vaccine is a way to protect you, your family and your way of life. As neighbors who are not vaccine resistant are vaccinated some of the hesitancy we see in rural America may fade away. But it will require very targeted digital messaging to reach these more conservative vaccine resistant rural populations who hear regularly from conservative media that COVID-19 mitigation strategies are a way to take away they personal liberties and deny them their way to make a living. This would include targeted ad buys on Fox, Newsmax, OANN and other information channels they trust.
[post_title] => The Challenge Of Vaccine Hesitancy In Rural America [post_excerpt] => In his latest Axios column, Drew Altman looks at the challenge of vaccine hesitancy in rural America and its implications. One of them: a highly tailored outreach campaign is needed. “Addressing this hesitancy will require convincing rural Americans about the seriousness of the pandemic, and then that the vaccine is a way to protect them, their families and their way of life,” he said. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-challenge-of-vaccine-hesitancy-in-rural-america [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-01-12 11:39:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-01-12 16:39:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.kff.org/?post_type=perspective&p=507994 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => perspective [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 6 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 516755 [post_author] => 36621681 [post_date] => 2021-03-22 05:00:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-03-22 09:00:01 [post_content] => A shorter version of this column has been published by Axios. Lots of attention has been given recently to Republican vaccine resisters, and while far from all Republicans are vaccine resisters, Republicans are among the groups likely to say they will not get vaccinated.  But the group to really focus on to make rapid progress is the “wait and see group”. It includes about equal shares of Democrats, Independents and Republicans who are more persuadable than the harder core vaccine resisters are. The “no” group hasn’t changed in size in months while the wait and see group has been shrinking. The wait and see group also includes larger shares of people of color hardest hit by the pandemic. One reason to emphasize the more persuadable as part of a broader effort: as more people get vaccinated it will build public confidence in the vaccines as well as progress towards herd immunity. Vaccine resisters say either they will not get the vaccine unless they are required to, or flat out say they will not get vaccinated no matter what. Three groups of resisters stand out: Republicans, (38% of them are resisters), rural Americans (28%), and essential workers who do not work in health (32%). They have various reasons for not wanting to get the vaccine: among them, denying the severity of the pandemic. Strategies are emerging to address their concerns. But if you look at those who are waiting to decide - the wait and see group - Black adults (34% of Black adults) and young adults (33%) stand out, with Latinos not too far behind (26%). Their concerns, among many, center around worries about side effects from the vaccine and its cost (it is free). The wait and see group has been shrinking, suggesting they can be moved as they see others vaccinated and as informational and access barriers are addressed. The size of the group dropped from 39% in December to 22% in February. By contrast, the harder core resistance has not budged since December. Building vaccine confidence is a multi dimensional challenge and no group can be ignored, including of course Republicans. Rural Americans in particular deserve their fair share of attention and so far they are not getting it. But the best strategy for building vaccine confidence would focus heavily on the wait and see groups to produce early results to build on. And, the wait and see groups include larger shares of people color who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. [post_title] => Where To Start To Build Vaccine Confidence [post_excerpt] => In this Axios column Drew Altman writes about the recent attention to Republican vaccine resisters. “Republicans and rural Americans are among the most resistant vaccine holdouts and some strategies are emerging to reach them." 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