COVID-19 Vaccine Attitudes Among Nonelderly Adults Who Reported Being Unlikely to Get Vaccinated

A pharmacy window, showing a pharmacist inside filling in paperwork.

Research shows that many adults who were not interested in getting the COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020 had not changed their minds when contacted again earlier this year.

The Issue

As the country works to meet the government's goal of vaccinating 70 percent of U.S. adults, survey data shows that many who expressed hesitancy about getting vaccinated in late 2020 remain skeptical. Respondents who reported that they remain unlikely to get vaccinated say they have difficulty trusting the safety of the vaccines as a result of growing political baggage and misinformation.

Key Findings

  • Short- and long-term side effects of the vaccines, and their accelerated development, remain top concerns among those who reported being unlikely to get vaccinated.

  • Interviewees mainly relied on television news programs and online news media for information about the vaccines.

  • Despite not wanting a vaccine, some interviewees wanted their high-risk loved ones to get vaccinated.

  • Health care providers emerged as a trusted source of information about the vaccines.


Mobilizing trusted messengers like physicians will be crucial to continue efforts to vaccinate as many individuals as possible in an effort to meet the government's goal of vaccinating 70 percent of U.S. adults. 

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