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COVID-19: Vaccine Hesitant in the USA Unlikely to Change Their Minds

Half of those who are unwilling to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 report that nothing will change their mind

Scientific Reports

Half of those in the USA who are unwilling to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 report that nothing will change their mind, according to a representative national survey reported in a study published in Scientific Reports.

Jeffrey Lazarus and colleagues surveyed 6,037 American adults in April 2021 to identify their attitudes towards vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. One third of the participants came from across the USA and two thirds were from New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, or Chicago.

The authors found that 21.4 percent of participants from across the USA were unwilling to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, compared to 19.7 percent in Dallas, 11.5 percent in Los Angeles, 11.2 percent in Chicago, and 10.1 percent in New York. Of those unwilling to be vaccinated, half stated that nothing would convince them to receive the vaccine and the majority reported that their unwillingness was caused by concerns about vaccine safety. Unwillingness to be vaccinated tended to be higher among those who worked outside of the home, held conservative political views, had a lower household income, and had not previously tested positive for COVID-19. Education levels, race, age, and sex were not uniformly associated with unwillingness to be vaccinated. Although over 82 percent of participants agreed that COVID-19 is a dangerous health threat, over 18 percent did not believe that the dangers of COVID-19 exceeded those of the vaccine and over 15 percent did not believe that COVID-19 can be prevented by vaccination. Over 50 percent of participants were in favor of the government requiring vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 and over 68 percent supported vaccination requirements for international travel.

The findings suggest that, while vaccination mandates are likely to be broadly accepted, additional, targeted interventions are needed to increase SARS-CoV-2 vaccine uptake among those with conservative political views and low household income.

- This press release was provided by Scientific Reports