According to the CDC at the time of this writing, just about one-third of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This has spurred more hope as just days ago, the public health agency reported a record 4.1 million new doses were given in one day. This milestone comes with cautious optimism as variants threaten all of the progress the campaign has made, particularly as states ease restrictions – the timing of which many experts call premature. That’s because many fear the pandemic appears to be heading toward a fourth nationwide surge. In the past seven days, the U.S. reported a daily average of just over 65,000 new cases, an increase of 20% from the prior two weeks. 

CivicScience data show that many are still skeptical about getting the vaccine. The below chart, which excludes recipients of the vaccine, shows that the percentage of people who plan to get it as soon as they are able is now below the percentage of the population who does not plan to get the vaccine. In short: of the remaining people who have not received a shot, more do not plan to receive it than those who do.

Of those who do not think they will get the shot(s), the main reasoning seems to be that people believe the vaccines were developed too quickly. 

When looking at the cross-tabulation with age groups, those between the ages of 25 and 34 are the most likely to not get the vaccine. This data comes just as the CDC reports that younger people are driving the current uptick in case numbers.

It’s no secret that Conservatives are less likely than Liberals to plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine. CivicScience data continues to confirm this.

Vaccine Guilt

On the opposite side of things, talk of vaccine guilt due to receiving the vaccine before others who are also eligible, has been circulating. CivicScience data show that, among those who have gotten the vaccine, this feeling has a pretty low incidence rate among adults, though it still exists.

Middle-aged adults are most likely to report this feeling.

Vaccine Comfort

CivicScience data show that it’s not all doom and gloom for vaccines at large. With vaccines front and center in our lives right now, CivicScience data show that overall vaccine comfort among the adult population has started to improve.

What’s more, among adults overall, concern about side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine has continued to decline since the end of 2020. Only 21% of American adults say they’re concerned about side effects.

Over the past few weeks, we also observed an increase in the number of people who would rather receive the Pfizer vaccine. In general, more people have a preference for one of the three than they did in February.

Where Do We Go From Here?

The CDC announced last week that travel poses a low risk for vaccinated adults, and the talk of vaccine passports continues to be amplified for getting back to day to day activities like visiting a local business or chain. 

At large, most Americans either believe the federal government should enforce vaccine passports (not states and the public sector) or that they should not exist at all.

The pandemic is not over. The conversation now goes beyond whether or not people will be vaccinated or not – it’s now how will businesses move forward with implementing some sort of system to keep patrons safe. CivicScience continues to track these issues on an ongoing basis to spot changes in trends and public acceptance.