If you turn on the news or look at any online media, there’s a strong chance the top headline is about the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s perhaps the one thing, from a public health perspective, that will get us back to some shape of our old lives (not to mention prevent people from dying of the disease). When the FDA announced that states should pause distribution of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine last week due to a rare blood clotting disorder experienced by six women, some saw that as throwing a wrench into inoculation progress, only adding to growing vaccine hesitancy among the population. 

All in all, most American adults at least somewhat agree it’s necessary to pause the vaccine until further research is conducted. But a good number disagree or aren’t sure.

With more than half of the population now at least halfway inoculated – and Americans 18 and older now eligible in all U.S. states – many experts worry that the issue moving forward will be too much supply and not enough demand. Checking in on the percentage of the population who have yet to be vaccinated for COVID-19, the data continue to show an increasing portion of unvaccinated adults do not plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine at all. This jumped five percentage points the week the Johnson & Johnson news came out.

Perhaps even more striking are the data looking at vaccine preference. Johnson & Johnson used to be the top preference among those who had one, likely due in part to its one-shot dosing. However, Pfizer slowly took its place, and as of last week, Moderna beat it out as well. Part of this could be due to studies coming out showing both Pfizer and Moderna’s lasting effectiveness. However, now only 12% of people who plan to get the vaccine would prefer Johnson & Johnson, a ten-percentage-point drop from the week before the FDA’s announcement.

Back to Normal for the Vaccinated? 

As for those who are already vaccinated, half report they have begun to spend time indoors with other vaccinated people from outside of their households, while others are waiting it out to varying degrees.

Vaccinated women as well as vaccinated older Americans are more likely to be waiting a bit longer to start seeing other vaccinated people indoors.

Vaccinated people who have known someone with COVID-19 are much more likely to be already gathering indoors or plan to do so soon than those who don’t know anyone.

Vaccinated people who are congregating indoors with other (vaccinated) households are also the most likely to be comfortable dining at a restaurant right now, but when pulling back and looking at the entire population (vaccinated or not) it looks a bit different.

Americans who plan to dine in at a restaurant soon are still much less likely to get the vaccine than those who have no dining plans or just plan to carry out.

What’s Next With J & J?

It could be as soon as this week that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is able to be distributed again, but how will trust be impacted and affect overall hesitancy? CivicScience reports on the latest vaccine news every two weeks, so check back then.