While the coronavirus vaccination campaign is off to a slower than anticipated start, the virus works at its own pace. As it rages on across the United States, post-holiday upticks are already underway and the worst days are expected to be ahead of us. One glimmer of hope in combating the virus? According to the newest CivicScience data on the COVID-19 vaccine, Americans are increasingly keen on opting in for the vaccine once they have the opportunity to.
In mid-December, after vaccines started to roll out, 40% of respondents said they would get the vaccine right as it became available to them, up about two percentage points from the week prior. As of the most recent numbers in early January, this number is up to 45%. While very minimal, the percentage of people who said they would not get the vaccine at all, as well as those who said they weren’t sure, have decreased respectively.
Even more encouraging in terms of the success of the inoculation campaign to get 80-85% of the population vaccinated, which Dr. Anthony Fauci says is necessary to achieve herd immunity, is that people are less likely to be concerned about potential vaccine side effects than they were last month. The new January 2021 data show that 25% of respondents say they’re concerned about the potential side effects, down from 38% the month prior.
General concerns are also declining; 45% say they don’t have any concerns about getting the vaccine, up 11 percentage points.
Vaccine Hesitancy at Large
An overarching theme we’ve seen at large is the rise of vaccine hesitancy. While data continued in the direction of growing hesitancy throughout the second half of 2020, as of Q1 2021, we observe a rise in the percentage of people who say they’re ‘very comfortable’ with vaccines.
While this is an encouraging change, it’s notable that the percentage of American adults who say they are ‘not at all comfortable’ hasn’t budged in the last several months.
According to a new survey launched in late December, many American adults (43%) would rather receive their vaccine at their doctor’s office, but more than a quarter would be fine getting it at a drugstore chain.
Pharmacies are becoming a major player in distributing the vaccine. Crossing vaccination location preference with pharmacy chain favorability, we observe that Rite Aid favorables (those who prefer Rite Aid to CVS and Walgreens) are most likely to want to go to a pharmacy for the vaccine, with CVS not too close behind.
When it comes to coronavirus inoculation, it’s a matter of supply, not brand. And when the campaign opens up to the general public, vaccine brand choice likely won’t be an option. However, the results of a quick survey do show that while the majority don’t have a preference, those who do are twice as likely to say they’d rather receive the Moderna vaccine if given the option.
Future Childhood Vaccine
Parents’ hesitation to have their children vaccinated once a shot is approved for minors has waned as well. Nearly 30% say they’d vaccinate their child(ren) right away once an approved vaccine is available, which has doubled since Q3, 2020.
While the worst is likely still ahead when it comes to the toll of the pandemic, it’s clear more and more Americans are getting on board with plans to do their part to end it by way of vaccination. CivicScience will report on vaccine opt-in on a bi-weekly cadence, so check back for more updates.