Polls show COVID-19 vaccination intent, perceptions, and reasons for not vaccinating

Feb. 11, 2021

National polls conducted before vaccine distribution began suggested that many persons were hesitant to receive COVID-19 vaccination, according to a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

From September to December 2020, intent to receive COVID-19 vaccination increased from 39.4 percent to 49.1 percent among adults and across all priority groups, and nonintent decreased from 38.1 percent to 32.1 percent. Despite decreases in nonintent from September to December, younger adults, women, non-Hispanic Black adults, adults living in nonmetropolitan areas, and adults with less education and income, and without health insurance continue to have the highest estimates of nonintent to receive COVID-19 vaccination.

Ensuring high and equitable vaccination coverage among all populations, including by addressing reasons for not intending to receive vaccination, is critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and bring an end to the pandemic. As of Feb. 8, 2021, 59.3 million doses of vaccines to prevent COVID-19 had been distributed in the United States, and 31.6 million persons had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

To examine perceptions toward COVID-19 vaccine and intentions to be vaccinated, in September and December 2020, CDC conducted household panel surveys among a representative sample of U.S. adults. From September to December, vaccination intent (defined as being absolutely certain or very likely to be vaccinated) increased overall (from 39.4 percent to 49.1 percent); the largest increase occurred among adults aged 65 years or older.

If defined as being absolutely certain, very likely, or somewhat likely to be vaccinated, vaccination intent increased overall from September (61.9 percent) to December (68.0percent). Vaccination nonintent (defined as not intending to receive a COVID-19 vaccination) decreased among all adults (from 38.1 percent to 32.1 percent) and among most sociodemographic groups. Younger adults, women, non-Hispanic Black (Black) persons, adults living in nonmetropolitan areas, and adults with lower educational attainment, with lower income, and without health insurance were most likely to report lack of intent to receive COVID-19 vaccine.

Intent to receive COVID-19 vaccine increased among adults aged 65 years or older by 17.1 percentage points (from 49.1 percent to 66.2 percent), among essential workers by 8.8 points (from 37.1 percent to 45.9 percent), and among adults aged 18 to 64 years with underlying medical conditions by 5.3 points (from 36.5 percent to 41.8 percent).

Although confidence in COVID-19 vaccines increased during September to December 2020 in the U.S., additional efforts to tailor messages and implement strategies to further increase the public’s confidence, overall and within specific subpopulations, are needed. Ensuring high and equitable vaccination coverage across all populations is important to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has issued interim recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine allocation, with initial limited supplies of vaccines recommended for healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities (phase 1a); frontline essential workers and persons aged 75 years or older (phase 1b); and persons aged 65 to 74 years, persons aged 16 to 64 years at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness because of underlying medical conditions, and other workers in essential and critical infrastructure sectors† not included in phases 1a and 1b (phase 1c). Vaccinating a large proportion of persons in the U.S. against COVID-19 is critical for preventing SARS-CoV-2–associated morbidity and mortality and helping bring an end to the global pandemic.

CDC has the report.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.