According to the Kaiser survey as well as other polls, Republicans have budged little in their views on vaccine acceptance in recent months, although they were more open last fall, before the November presidential election. The partisan divide over the Covid shots is wide, with just 46 percent of Republicans saying they have received at least one shot or want to get it, compared with 79 percent of Democrats.
No group is monolithic in its reasons to oppose or accept the vaccines. Those who are skeptical say they mistrust the government generally and are apprehensive about the speed of the vaccine’s development. Awash in online misinformation, many cling to a fast-spreading myth — that tracker microchips are embedded in the shots.
For rural residents, access to the vaccine is so problematic that they see the logistics and travel time involved as simply not worth it.
With so many reasons cited to avoid the vaccine, crafting messages to coax vaccine confidence can be difficult. But the latest Kaiser report identified some approaches that seem to be successful in moving people to consider the shots.
At least two-thirds of the so-called wait and see group said they would be persuaded by the message that the vaccines are “nearly 100 percent effective at preventing hospitalization and death from Covid-19.” Other strong messages included information that the new vaccines are based on 20-year-old technology, that the vaccine trials included a broad diversity of candidates, and that the vaccines are free.
The survey also noted that many people who are hesitant would be amenable to certain incentives. As the country begins to open up and on-site work returns, the role of the employer in vaccination is becoming increasingly pertinent. A quarter of those who are hesitant and have a job said that they would get the shot if their employer arranged for workplace vaccination. Nearly as many would agree if their employers gave them financial incentives ranging from $50 to $200.
But over all, the strong growth in adults who have either gotten one dose of the vaccine or are inclined to get it is most likely because of their increasing familiarity with the notion. Surveys show that as they begin to know more friends and relatives who have gotten the shot, they can more readily imagine getting it themselves.