COVID-19 Vaccine Sentiment

With the Pfizer vaccine receiving FDA approval and Moderna’s version expected to follow suit within days, this week we surveyed our audience to get a better understanding of their confidence in the new COVID-19 vaccine. We asked Americans if and when they plan to get the vaccine and examine reasons why they might be hesitant to do so. We also take a look at typical attitudes and behaviors around the flu shot and how those have changed this year in light of the pandemic. 

12,208

Survey Respondents

November 30, 2020

How confident are you that the COVID-19 vaccine will be both safe and effective once released?

36% of Americans do not have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Men are more confident than women in the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Compared to other generations, Gen Zers and The Silent Generation are more likely to report confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Do you plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available?

Less than half of Americans (44%) plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

Responses by Gender

Responses by Generation

Responses by Political Affiliation

If yes - when will you get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Of those who plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine, 45% intend to get it as soon as it becomes available.

While most generations either plan to get vaccinated right away or aren’t sure yet as to when, Gen Zers are most likely to wait until we have a better understanding of the long-term side effects.

If no - why aren't you planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Of those who do not plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine, 35% don’t trust vaccines, 28% are not confident in the development and approval process, and 24% are worried about potential side effects.

Compared to other generations:

  • Gen Zers are least confident in the vaccine development and approval process.
  • Millennials and Gen Xers are most likely to distrust vaccines altogether.
  • Baby boomers and The Silent Generation are most concerned with potential side effects.

Do you have any underlying health conditions increasing your risk of COVID-19?

26% of Americans have underlying health conditions increasing their risk of COVID-19.

Those with underlying health conditions are 94% more likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

Do you typically get the flu shot?

53% of Americans typically get the flu shot.

Responses by Gender

Responses by Generation

Responses by Political Affiliation

If no - why don’t you typically get the flu shot?

Of those who typically don’t get the flu shot, 28% are not confident that it works, 26% choose not to get any vaccines, and 20% believe a healthy lifestyle and nutrition are more effective at preventing infection.

Compared to other generations, millennials and Gen Xers are least likely to get any types of vaccines, though millennials have more confidence that the flu shot is effective.

Did you get the flu shot this year?

51% of Americans either already got the flu shot or are planning to get vaccinated this year.

Compared to other generations:

  • Baby boomers and The Silent Generation are most likely to have already received their flu shot.
  • Gen Zers are more likely to get a flu shot this year versus previous years.
  • Millennials and Gen Xers are least likely to get a flu shot at all this year.

Flu Shot vs. COVID-19 Vaccine

Those who already received a flu shot or are planning to are 93% more likely to also get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.  However, of the 49% of Americans who will not get a flu shot this year, 29% are still planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Key Takeaways for Marketers

Consumer safety and convenience will remain a top priority for retailers even after the COVID-19 vaccine is distributed.

With most of the U.S. population expected to gain access to the vaccine by the summer, and less than half of Americans (44%) currently planning to get vaccinated, retail marketers will need to rely on many of the same tactics adopted this year as they map out their strategy for the first half of 2021.

Compatibility with mobile payment providers will be a must as one third of Americans seek out contactless payment options and report using mobile payment apps more frequently now versus this time last year. New offerings like buy online, pick-up in store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup will likely also remain popular among consumers looking for safer, more seamless ways to shop.

While brick and mortar stores will likely start to see an increase in foot traffic once the vaccine is distributed, retail marketers with a strong ecommerce infrastructure and easy-to-use mobile app experience will be best positioned to respond to consumers' evolving needs in the new year.

If 2020 was a race to get a functional site up and running to accommodate a surge in ecommerce volume, 2021 will be the time to introduce innovation. Retail marketers that optimize their ecommerce offerings across desktop and mobile and provide convenient and safe environments for shoppers to engage online will continue to benefit from the momentum triggered by the pandemic.

To drive adoption of the vaccine, health marketers must leverage data to better understand consumers and reach them with the right messaging.

According to the survey results, Gen Z, millennials, and Gen X are least likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available – though reasons for hesitation vary by demographic. Government officials and pharma advertisers will first need to partner with trusted data providers to gain a better understanding of Americans’ concerns. Data partners that can offer privacy-safe insights declared by consumers will be best positioned to provide value and help inform targeting strategy.

From there government officials and pharma advertisers should identify key audience segments and target those consumers with tailored messaging across the channels (social, CTV, etc.) where they're most actively engaged. In order to be effective, campaigns should either address the reasons why Americans are hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine or provide guidance on when and where to get vaccinated.

Marketing to Gen Z

Gen Zers are most likely to forgo the vaccine due to a lack of confidence in the development and approval process, and among the 36% of them who do plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine, 33% will choose to wait until we have a better understanding of the long-term side effects. Ads served to Gen Z should highlight the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, as well as the integrity of the process put in place to develop it.

Marketing to Millennials & Gen X

A lack of trust in vaccines is the number one reason why people do not plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine (and the number two reason why they typically don’t get the flu shot). Compared to other generations, millennials and Gen Xers are most likely to hold this sentiment. For this age group, ads should clearly explain why the health risks associated with the contracting the virus are much greater than those tied to vaccination.

Marketing to Baby Boomers & The Silent Generation

52% of baby boomers and 58% of The Silent Generation plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. For older Americans that are confident in the safety of the vaccine and plan to get it as soon as it is distributed, messaging should focus on where, how, and when to get vaccinated.

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FAQs

How is this data collected?

‘Fluent Pulse’ reflects a daily online survey collected across Fluent’s portfolio of owned & operated websites.

Who is the audience?

Fluent attracts a massive audience across its network of owned media properties. While all segments of the US population are represented, the below are our most prevalent demographic skews:

Demographic Attribute Over Penetrated Among
Age

Median: 38

61% between the age of 18 & 44

Gender 50/50 Male/Female
Education High School Degree or Some College
Homeownership 61% Renters
Households with Children 42% of Audience

How many people were surveyed?

On average, 150,000 – 175,000 consumers respond daily.

Is the data weighted?

No, but representative of the overall Fluent Audience.

How do you protect consumers data privacy?

All responses related to this survey are anonymized; only survey responses will be disclosed. At no point will consumer’s personal information will ever be disclosed.

What was your methodology?

Data has been collected from U.S. adults on a daily or weekly basis, dependent upon topic, since March 10, 2020. All data is sourced from Fluent’s portfolio of owned and operated media properties. Results are specific to the Fluent audience and not reflective of the general U.S. population.

The data presented on this site does not reflect the official opinion, policy or position of Fluent, Inc. This research is only meant to inform and illustrate, as an example, the rich data assets Fluent can derive insights from to drive in-market strategies.