BACKGROUND: As COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts continue, public health workers can strategize about vaccine promotion in an effort to increase willingness among those who may be hesitant.
METHODS: In April 2020, we surveyed a national probability sample of 2279 U.S. adults using an online panel recruited through address-based sampling. Households received a computer and internet access if needed to participate in the panel. Participants were invited via e-mail and answered online survey questions about their willingness to get a novel coronavirus vaccine when one became available. The survey was completed in English and Spanish. We report weighted percentages.
RESULTS: Most respondents were willing to get the vaccine for themselves (75%) or their children (73%). Notably, Black respondents were less willing than White respondents (47% vs. 79%, p < 0.001), while Hispanic respondents were more willing than White respondents (80% vs. 75%, p < 0.003). Females were less likely than makes (72% vs. 79%, p < 0.001). Those without insurance were less willing than the insured (47% vs. 78%, p < 0.001). Willingness to vaccinate was higher for those age 65 and older than for some younger age groups (85% for those 65 and older vs. 75% for those 50-64, p < 0.017; 72% for those 35-49, p < 0.002; 70% for those 25-34, p = NS and 75% for ages 18-24, p = NS), but other groups at increased risk because of underlying medical conditions or morbid obesity were not more willing to get vaccinated than their lower risk counterparts.
CONCLUSIONS: Most Americans were willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine, but several vulnerable populations reported low willingness. Public health efforts should address these gaps as national implementation efforts continue.