COVID-19 Resource Center

COVID-19 Resource Center

Perspective from Paul A. Offit, MD
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
February 09, 2021
2 min read

Proportion of adults willing to get COVID-19 vaccine has increased

Perspective from Paul A. Offit, MD
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
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The proportion of U.S. adults who indicated a willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine increased by almost 10 percentage points between September and December, according to survey results published in MMWR.

At the same time, the percentage of adults who said they did not intend to get a COVID-19 vaccine when available decreased, although rates of nonintent remained highest among some groups, including younger adults, women and Black adults, researchers reported.

Vaccine attitude infographic
Source: Nguyen KH, et al. MMWR Morbid Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7006e3.

“Health care providers are known to be a trusted source of information about vaccines for many persons and can use CDC-recommended guidance to have effective conversations with patients about the need for vaccination,” Kimberly H. Nguyen, DrPHMPH, MS, an epidemiologist in the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, and colleagues wrote. “Ensuring high and equitable vaccination coverage in all populations is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and bringing an end to the pandemic.”

Nguyen and colleagues analyzed the results of surveys conducted among a total of more than 5,500 U.S. adults to determine public attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination. According to the study, between September and December, the percentage of adults who intended to be vaccinated increased from 39.4% to 49.1%. During the same period, the percentage of adults who did not intend to get vaccinated dropped from 38.1% to 32.1%.

Peter J. Hotez

Young adults, women, non-Hispanic Black adults, adults who lived in nonmetropolitan areas and adults with lower income and education and who lacked health insurance were more likely to say they did not intend to receive the vaccine, Nguyen and colleagues reported.

An earlier study conducted by Peter J. Hotez, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and colleagues identified similar patterns in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.

“Both our study led by a group at Texas A&M University and a Kaiser Family Foundation study identified conservative groups and African American populations as the two most vaccine hesitant in the U.S.,” Hotez told Healio. “We are working to identify the factors and forces behind these findings, including the role of anti-vaccine organizations.”

According to the CDC, almost 63 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed in the U.S. so far, and more than 43.2 million doses have been administered, with at least 32.8 million people receiving at least one dose.

“Continuing to promote vaccine confidence by tailoring information to address concerns of individual persons and communities is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19,” Nguyen and colleagues wrote. “These findings suggest a decrease in nonintent over time as well as concerns about vaccine safety among priority populations in the United States and have implications for potential messages and strategies that could boost confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and educate essential workers, minority populations, and the general public about the safety of the vaccine development process, and the known effectiveness and safety of authorized COVID-19 vaccines.”


Callaghan T, et al. Soc Sci Med. 2020;doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113638.

CDC. COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States. Accessed February 9, 2021.