Majority of Black and Hispanic Adults Express Willingness to Receive New COVID-19 Vaccine, While Most White Adults Are Hesitant

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The latest findings from the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor highlight a significant trend in public attitudes toward the latest COVID-19 vaccine. Surprisingly, half of all adults nationally (51%) express a reluctance to get the new vaccine, with a substantial portion citing a lack of concern about catching the virus as their primary reason.

Interestingly, one in five adults (20%) has already received the new vaccine, while an additional 28% express an intention to get vaccinated. However, a notable 31% of adults who previously received a COVID vaccine now indicate that they do not plan to get the updated vaccine.

The vaccine hesitancy trend reveals distinct demographic patterns. A majority of Black (59%) and Hispanic (59%) adults either have received or plan to get the new vaccine, while a contrasting 58% of White adults express a definitive unwillingness to do so. Furthermore, political affiliation remains a potent factor, with a striking 80% of White Republican adults stating they will not get the new vaccine, compared to only 29% of White Democratic adults.

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For those who have already been vaccinated but have not received the latest shot, 52% attribute their hesitancy to a perceived lack of concern about getting the virus. Other reasons include being too busy (37%), waiting for a later time (32%), or having experienced adverse side effects after a previous dose (27%).

Financial constraints pose a barrier for some, with 16% indicating they cannot afford to take time off work to get vaccinated. This concern is particularly pronounced among Hispanic adults (35%) and Black adults (22%). Additionally, 13% mention difficulty securing a vaccine appointment as a hindrance.

As the nation approaches the fourth holiday season since the onset of COVID-19, the survey indicates a prevailing sense of complacency regarding the virus’s potential impact. A substantial 74% of the public is “not too worried” or “not at all worried” about contracting COVID-19 during the holidays, outnumbering the 26% who express varying degrees of concern.

Similarly, when it comes to spreading the virus to friends and family, two-thirds (68%) of the public do not harbor significant worries, while only 31% express concerns. The survey reflects a split in attitudes toward precautions, with 50% planning to take at least one preventive measure during the fall and winter. This includes avoiding large gatherings (35%), wearing masks in crowded places (30%), avoiding travel (25%), avoiding indoor restaurants (19%), or taking a pre-visit COVID-19 test (18%).

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Noteworthy differences emerge in demographic responses. Individuals aged 65 and above, a group vulnerable to severe COVID-19 illness, show a higher likelihood of having received the new vaccine (34%). However, they are no more inclined than younger adults to adopt precautions. Black (72%) and Hispanic (68%) adults express greater intent to take precautions compared to White adults (39%), and Democrats (66%) are more than twice as likely as Republicans (29%) to plan precautionary measures.

Conducted between October 31 and November 7, 2023, through online and telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,401 U.S. adults, the survey provides valuable insights into the evolving dynamics of public sentiment regarding COVID-19 and vaccination. The margin of sampling error is estimated at plus or minus 4 percentage points for the full sample, with potentially higher margins for subgroup analyses.


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