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Roundup of Recent Gallup Data on Vaccines
Gallup Blog

Roundup of Recent Gallup Data on Vaccines

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Prior to last week's announcement by Pfizer and BioNTech that its COVID-19 vaccine may have a 90% effectiveness rate, Gallup polling revealed a number of insights about Americans' views on a coronavirus vaccine and vaccines generally that could still inform how vaccines can be most effectively rolled out to the public. Here is a quick review of five key points from Gallup's research.

1. The Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of recovery study finds that, among many potential personal characteristics such as age, income and political affiliation, the most significant predictor of whether someone will get the COVID-19 vaccine is if they took the flu vaccine last year. Race and ethnicity are also important drivers of vaccine acceptance, with Black adults being less likely to report they will get the vaccine.

Americans' Willingness to Take A COVID-19 Vaccine Among Key Demographic Groups
Would you agree to be vaccinated with the COVID vaccine?*
Yes No/Don't know
% %
18-24 43 58
25-34 38 62
35-44 46 54
45-54 40 60
55-64 45 55
65+ 55 45
Political affiliaiton
Democrat 50 50
Republican 45 55
Independent 43 57
White adults 46 54
Black adults 31 69
Hispanic adults 48 52
Asian adults 56 44
Less than $24,000 33 67
$24,000-$59,999 41 59
$60,000-$119,000 49 51
$120,000+ 67 33
Male 56 44
Female 35 65
Received flu vaccine last year
Yes 63 37
No 27 73
* Due to rounding, all percentages may not add up to 100%.
Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery Study, Oct. 1-9, 2020

2. An experiment in the Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery Survey finds vaccination acceptance would increase if the vaccine is released in early 2021, as compared with a 2020 release. Acceptance would also increase when respondents receive reassuring information about the approval process, side effects and efficacy, and if the vaccine is provided at no cost. Although, even with these and other acceptance-boosting conditions in place, the research suggests just over 60% of the adult population would accept the vaccine.

Additional Factors That Would Affect Respondents' Likelihood of Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine
Percentage of respondents who previously said they would not get the vaccine, but say one of the following factors would have a MAJOR IMPACT on their likelihood of getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available
All respondents Democrats Republicans Independents
% % % %
Your doctor recommends the vaccine 19 23 15 18
The vaccine is available for free 21 25 18 19
You can get the vaccine at your local pharmacy 15 18 13 14
The CDC recommends the vaccine 18 24 13 17
Your state's public health department recommends the vaccine 15 21 11 13
President Donald Trump recommends the vaccine 10 10 12 9
Any of the above 36 45 31 33
Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery Study, Oct. 1-9, 2020

3. Even prior to COVID-19, some Americans were skeptical about the safety of vaccines, generally, and the importance of childhood vaccinations. In 2018, the Wellcome Global Monitor found 72% agreed vaccines were safe, another 11% disagreed and 17% neither agreed nor disagreed. And U.S. adults and parents have been even more skeptical than others on the safety of these vaccines. The Wellcome Global Monitor found 60% of parents strongly agreed vaccines are safe, compared with 78% of those who are not parents. Similarly, a 2019 Gallup study found a significant portion of U.S. adults felt unsure if vaccinations caused autism (they do not). These data suggest COVID-19 vaccination among children may prove even more difficult given the more rapid nature of the COVID-19 vaccine development and longstanding questions about vaccine safety for children among many U.S. adults.

Do you agree, disagree, or neither agree nor disagree with the following statement? Vaccines are safe.
Asked of adults who have heard of vaccines
Agree Disagree Neither agree nor disagree
% % %
France 47 33 20
Russia 45 24 32
Germany 67 13 20
U.S. 72 11 17
U.K. 75 9 16
Japan 34 8 58
China 72 8 19
Percentages of people who answer Strongly agree/Somewhat agree, Strongly disagree/Somewhat disagree, and Neither agree nor disagree; Countries listed are home to a large percentage of the world's researchers
Wellcome Global Monitor

4. Even if a vaccine were available in Spring 2021, the Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery Study finds many Americans still anticipate they will be slow to resume "normal" pre-COVID-19 activities.

Americans Willingness to Return to Activities if a COVID-19 Vaccine Is Available This Spring
Return to normal habits
Spending 55
Attending large gatherings 48
Favoring opening schools 62
Traveling by car 81
Traveling by air 52
Working away from home 64
Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery Study, Oct 1-9, 2020

5. According to a September Gallup Panel survey, half of U.S. adults report they would get the COVID-19 vaccine --the lowest rate since Gallup first began asking about the vaccination in July of 2020 when two-thirds of Americans said they would agree to vaccination if the FDA-approved vaccine were available at no cost.

The acceptance rate is relatively similar to the percentage of U.S. adults who actually get the flu vaccine each year.

WillingnessCOVID Vaccine

Line graph. Americans' willingness to be vaccinated for COVID-19. 50% of Americans were willing to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in September of this year, down from 61% at the end of August.

To receive ongoing updates on the Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery Study, please sign up here.


Stephanie Marken is Executive Director of Education Research at Gallup.

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