Researchers with the University of South Florida School of Public Affairs, in partnership with Cyber Florida at the University of South Florida, have released the first set of results from a nationwide survey that measures attitudes and opinions about COVID-19 vaccines, as well as potential federal stimulus policies.
Among the key findings:
While a majority of Americans say they will probably get vaccinated, many remain concerned about the efficacy and safety of recently approved vaccines.
- Just more than a third of respondents (38%) said that they “will definitely get vaccinated” in the coming months. More than half (59%) said they would either “definitely” or “probably get vaccinated”, while roughly a quarter (23%) said they will “probably not” or “definitely not get vaccinated”.
- More than a quarter of respondents (29%) said that they are either “not very confident” or “not at all confident” that the recently approved vaccines are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Roughly one-third of respondents (33%) said that they are either “not very confident” or “not at all confident” that the recently approved vaccines are safe.
- A significant majority of respondents (71%) said that they are at least “somewhat concerned” about the potential side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 32% indicating that they are “very concerned”.
Some minor differences in vaccination plans emerged across demographic groups.
- Male respondents were more likely than their female counterparts to indicate that they will get vaccinated; 64% of men said they will either “probably” or “definitely get vaccinated”, compared to 53% of women.
- White and Hispanic respondents were more likely than African-American respondents to indicate that they will get vaccinated. Sixty percent of both whites and Hispanics said they will either “probably” or “definitely get vaccinated”, compared to only 49% of African Americans.
- Those over the age of 65 are most likely to get vaccinated; 76% say they “probably” or “definitely” will. A majority of the youngest respondents (between 18-24) also indicated that they will likely get vaccinated (60%). Vaccination plans were lowest among middle-aged respondents, only 48% of those between 45 and 54 indicate that they are likely to get vaccinated.
Most Americans have not talked to their doctor about the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Only 21% of Americans have talked to their primary care doctor about whether a COVID-19 vaccine is appropriate for them.
- The most commonly cited sources of information that respondents have used to learn about the COVID-19 vaccine include television news (57%); friends, family and coworkers (40%); and social media (32%).
- Less than a third of respondents reported using government webpages such as the CDC (30%); a medical professional (28%); or medical webpages such as WebMD (25%) to learn about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Americans overwhelmingly favor additional federal stimulus policies in response to COVID-19.
- More than three-quarters of respondents (79%) indicate that they would either “somewhat support” or “strongly support” providing additional $2,000 stimulus payments to Americans, as well as extending federal unemployment benefits for out-of-work Americans.
- A similar number (75%) say that they would support extending the “pause” on student loan repayments, while 71% would support extending a federal moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.
- Notable majorities would support the federal government providing financial relief to small businesses (87%), hard-hit industries (68%), and local governments (66%).
- Democrats were more supportive of potential stimulus policies, but majorities in both parties indicated support for each proposed measure.
Many Americans continue to support stronger COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
- Two-thirds of respondents (66%) said that they would either “somewhat support” or “strongly support” a nationwide mask mandate, including penalties for non-compliance.
- Roughly half of all respondents (51%) indicated that they would support “a national shutdown of non-essential businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19”.
- There were notable partisan differences in support for mitigation policies. Two-thirds of Democrats (65%) voiced support for a nationwide mask mandate, compared with less than half of Republicans (45%). A majority of Republicans (60%) indicated that they would also oppose a national shutdown of non-essential businesses.
The survey included a representative sample of 1,003 voting-age Americans, fielded Jan. 9-12, 2021. Results are reported with a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error +/- 3%.
A second round of results from this survey are set to be released within the next two weeks. These will examine social media usage and online behavior related to the COVID-19 pandemic.