Since the last CivicScience study examining the state of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, President Biden asked states to give all Americans access to the vaccine no later than May 1, and this past Friday he even suggested the U.S. will double his initial projection of 100 million vaccines in his first 100 days in office.

According to the latest CivicScience data, consumer optimism about vaccines – and the virus at large – has grown as well, but a large swath of Americans who are eligible to get a vaccine have had trouble accessing one.

What a Difference a Year Makes

Looking at the March data to date, CivicScience observed the largest percentage of people (since tracking of the question began a year ago) say they are not concerned about getting the virus themselves or spreading the virus to others.

What’s more is the percentage of people who are less concerned about the coronavirus pandemic in general compared to prior weeks  has surpassed those who are worrying about it more. A sure sign that in many people’s eyes, there’s a clear end to this in sight.

Vaccine Expectations

Compared to the two weeks prior, a much larger percentage of U.S. adults (49%) who plan to receive the vaccine expect they will be vaccinated by the end of the spring.

The public’s perception about the pace of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution campaign continues to improve, too. Over the past four weeks, the percentage of people who say the process has been just right has grown by 18 percentage points. 

Waiting Game

Among those who have not received the vaccine, we saw an increase in the percentage of people who say they would not get it in the most recent full week of data. This number now sits at 28%.

Our data show that one-third of registered Republicans do not plan to get the vaccine, a figure which may shift if more prominent GOP leaders advertise their own inoculation. 

More than one-third of the youngest U.S. adults (under 25) do not plan to receive the vaccine for COVID-19. But it does not look much more optimistic in the next age bucket up, either: 22% of those aged 25 to 44 say they would not receive the shot.

In a new March survey of 2,900 American adults who are waiting to be vaccinated, half of respondents are eligible but haven’t gotten a vaccine yet. One-fourth are eligible to get the shot but have had trouble getting an appointment. If eligibility does indeed open up to all no later than May 1, as Biden promises, will this figure improve or only stall more?

Also interesting is that 17% of eligible survey respondents are waiting for other reasons. 

As CivicScience indicated last week, those eligible in the Northwest have had the most trouble getting a vaccine appointment.

Those in both the midwest and South are the most likely to say they will not receive the vaccine.

Of only people who have not yet received the vaccine, a stark half of Americans over 65+ say they have had trouble getting an appointment. This figure paints the story of the main issue facing vaccine distribution right now: the non-tech-savvy and those who may not have help in getting a time slot are the losers in this race.

Looking at vaccine status by occupation, medical professionals are by far the most likely to already be vaccinated, to no shock. However, some of them still report having trouble getting one. The same can be said for teachers. Those in service and craft type positions are the most likely to say they won’t get the vaccine at all.

A big part of this conversation is access; to booking the vaccine appointment and information regarding its effectiveness. People without internet service at home are much more likely to say they do not plan to get the vaccine.

Eventual Childhood Vaccine

Slight hesitancy for the future COVID-19 vaccine for minors increased in March, with the percentage of parents who say they would get it for their child(ren) immediately down three percentage points.

As distribution continues, so too does CivicScience data collection on the matter. We’ll be back in two weeks with the latest.