Since the beginning of 2020, overall comfort with vaccines has decreased among American adults. According to new CivicScience data from August, the percentage of people who said they were very comfortable with vaccines fell from 69% in Q1 to 53% in Q3.
CivicScience observes the same downward trend in the data when asking people how soon they would get a coronavirus vaccine after it is available. The numbers shifted significantly from Q2, when 46% of respondents said they would get it as soon as possible, down to just 37% in Q3. Just to reiterate, that means just over one-third of the population say they would get the coronavirus vaccine right away.
Reluctance is clear, but so is a wait and see mentality. Though people who know someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (either within their household or outside of it) are more likely to get the vaccine as soon as possible, it’s just by a hair. Knowing someone appears not to have a strong bearing on when to get the vaccine. Across the board, people vary in how long they would wait.
Although, the data do show that those who do not know someone who had coronavirus are more likely to say they will not get the vaccination at all.
Wait and See From Democrats and Republicans Alike
The political leaning cross-tabulation looks like you may imagine it would, but there’s a notable change comparing Q2 and Q3 data. In Q2, more than half of Democrats (54%) said they would receive the vaccine right away. In Q3, that number dropped twelve percentage points to 42%.
Thing is, we see the very same shift among Republicans – an eleven percentage point drop since Q2 in those who would opt for it right away.
Reluctance is on both sides of the aisle. Moderates are a bit more, well, moderate in the changes quarter over quarter; the shift away from getting the vaccine as soon as possible is there, but it’s not as drastic. Go figure.
It’s also quite notable that Republicans are the least likely to get the vaccine at all. Though this is not surprising in the grand sense, it’s interesting as the current Republican administration is funding Operation Warp Speed to get a vaccine out, potentially early next year.
Vaccine hesitancy is a much larger issue in the world, but with the new reality of the pandemic, it’s even more apparent. CivicScience continuously tracks these issues and will be checking in on sentiment when a vaccine is available.