COVID-19 vaccines: consumer sentiment and expectations

COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed across the U.S., but they're not available to everyone yet and some people remain hesitant to adopt. 

We fielded a national survey to 1,023 consumers on January 12-13  to understand consumer sentiment toward COVID-19 vaccines. Here are the results.

 

How many people plan to get vaccinated?
 
When asked whether they expect to get a vaccine when it becomes available, 34% of people plan to get it as soon as possible, 33% plan to wait a while before getting it, and 32% do not plan to get vaccinated at all.

 
 
Why do people plan to "wait and see" before getting the vaccine?
 
Of those who want to wait a while before getting the vaccine, 64% cited fear of side effects as the reason why. 43% wanted to see demonstrated effectiveness before getting it - likely due to recent news about new strains of the virus. And 40% want to avoid "skipping the line" and instead wait for vulnerable populations to receive it first.
 
Why do people plan to avoid getting vaccinated?

Among those who say they're not going to get the vaccine at all, the most common reason (at 53%) is that they believe the risk of vaccine side effects outweighs the risk of getting COVID-19. The second most popular response, at 33%, was the belief that the vaccine won't work at preventing COVID-19.
 
If there is a push from the government or medical community to increase adoption, the focus should be on assuaging fears of side effects and demonstrating efficacy, especially in the context of emerging virus strains.

 
 
When do people plan to get the vaccine?
 
Of those who plan to get vaccinated as soon as possible, 90% of them expect to do so within the next 6 months, and about 2/3 expect to receive the vaccine by April.

 

How do people plan to make their appointment?

More than half of people plan to make an appointment at a doctor's office, clinic, temporary vaccine center, or some other medical facility.
 
Many are still unsure (27%) where they will get the vaccine, and of those, 30% expect to find out more information from their healthcare provider and 27% from an internet search.
 

 
 
How will people's out-of-home activities change after COVID ends?
 
After the pandemic ends, people plan to permanently increase their online shopping compared to pre-COVID.
 
Air travel, staying at hotels, and public events are likely to see a permanent decline compared to pre-COVID levels.

That said, many COVID behaviors are being viewed as temporary, like off-premise restaurant usage as well as working from home.

 
 
Will the vaccine end the pandemic?
 
The majority of respondents don't believe the vaccine will end the pandemic, regardless of whether they personally plan to get the vaccine.
 
Among those who plan to get the vaccine, 49% believe that not enough people will take the vaccine for it to end the pandemic.
 
Among those who don't plan to get the vaccine, 43% believe that the vaccine itself won't be effective.

 
 
When do people expect a return to normal?
 
When asked how soon they believe enough people will have taken the vaccine for things to return to normal, 80% believe it will happen by the end of the year. 50% believe it will happen sometime during the summer.

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