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Shifting trends in vaccine hesitancy

Greater divergence in attitudes, growing reticence among minorities


Troy Brennan, MD, Former Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

White Paper

Shifting Trends in Vaccine Hesitancy

Greater Divergence in Attitudes, Growing Reticence Among Minorities

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Although the roll-out of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines continues, as findings of the survey published in our white paper in early December 2020 showed, vaccine hesitancy poses a risk to widespread vaccination necessary to achieve herd immunity.

That survey showed that safety, efficacy, and adverse side effects were among the top reasons for hesitancy, along with the politization of the pandemic, which also played a role. Hesitancy also varied among different demographic, racial, and ethnic groups as well.

To better understand how attitudes toward vaccination have shifted, we conducted another survey from January 8 to 11 after Congress had certified the results of the Presidential election held on November 3, 2020. The nationwide survey, representative of the U.S. population, showed that while 38 percent of respondents now want to get vaccinated as soon as possible – up 10 percentage points – nearly a quarter (24 percent) say they will not get vaccinated, an increase from 17 percent in November.


Data shows growing reticence among minority groups:

  • 9 percentage point increase in Black respondents who do not plan to get vaccinated
  • 5 percentage point increase in Hispanic respondents who do not plan to get vaccinated


This white paper highlights key results from our survey, and what the findings tell us about shifting perceptions regarding vaccination, as well as considerations for how we may be able to address them. They also share perspective on the role of trusted advisors, including nonprofits and community organizations in helping overcome vaccine hesitancy through targeted, culturally appropriate education campaigns.

We are proud of the role we have played so far in helping administer the vaccine to staff and residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities, and nursing homes, and will continue to work to help build awareness and ensure equitable access.

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* Includes English and Spanish speaking respondents