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February 11, 2021

Who's most (and least) likely to get a Covid-19 vaccine, charted

Daily Briefing

    Although an increasing share of Americans say they're very likely to get a Covid-19 vaccine, some population groups are less likely to say they will do so, according to a new report from CDC.

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    More Americans are likely to get vaccinated

    For the report, CDC researchers looked at data from two surveys: the IPSOS KnowledgePanel, conducted first from Sept. 3 to Oct. 1, 2020, and then from Dec. 18 to Dec. 20, 2020; and the NORC Amerispeak survey, also conducted Dec. 18 to Dec. 20, 2020.

    In total, the two surveys polled more than 3,500 adults in September and more than 2,000 adults in December.

    Among all adults, the researchers found that 49.1% in Dec. 2020 said they were "absolutely certain/very likely" to get a Covid-19 vaccine, up from 39.4% in September.

    However, the researchers found that more than a third of adults ages 18-49 in December said they did not intend to get a Covid-19 vaccine, making them more likely than other age groups to say as much. In comparison, just under a third of adults ages 50-64 and just under one in five adults ages 65 and older said they would not get the vaccine.

    The researchers also found that 46.5% of non-Hispanic Black respondents in December said they did not intend on getting a vaccine, a drop from the 56.1% who said the same in September, but still a greater percentage than said the same in other racial and ethnic groups. For instance, 32.4% of Hispanic respondents and 30.3% of white respondents said in December they did not intend to get a vaccine.

    An increasing share of essential workers said they intended to get a vaccine, with 45.9% responding in December that they were "absolutely certain/very likely" to do so, compared to 37.1% in September. Still, more than a third of essential workers in December said they were "not likely" to get a vaccine.

    Overall, the most-cited reason by respondents for not intending to get a Covid-19 vaccine was concern about side effects and safety, with 23.4% of respondents citing this concern in September and 29.8% citing it in December. The second most-cited reason in December was an intention to wait and see whether the vaccine was safe and potentially get one later.


    The researchers said the results of the surveys suggest there are "concerns about vaccine safety among priority populations in the United States [that] have implications for potential messages and strategies that could boost confidence in Covid-19 vaccines and educate essential workers, minority populations, and the general public about the safety of the vaccine development process, and the known effectiveness and safety of authorized Covid-19 vaccines."

    They also noted in the study that, while "confidence in Covid-19 vaccines increased during September-December 2020 in the United States, additional efforts to tailor messages and implement strategies to further increase the public's confidence overall and within specific subpopulations are needed" because "ensuring high and equitable vaccination coverage in all populations is critical to preventing the spread of Covid-19 and bringing an end to the [epidemic]" (Finucane, Boston Globe, 2/9; Higgins-Dunn, CNBC, 2/9; Nguyen et. al., Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 2/9).

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