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How Perspectives on the COVID-19 Vaccines Are Changing

New KFF survey indicates friends, family, physicians play an important role

July 13, 2021

New analysis released today from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) provides a glimpse at the ways the general public’s willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine has shifted since January and the persistent challenge to reach vaccine-hesitant individuals.

In its research, the foundation surveyed a representative sample of adults about the vaccine during January and then re-interviewedQuote from Kaiser Family Foundation highlighting benefits of COVID-19 vaccination individuals to learn if they received the vaccine and if their perspectives changed over time.

The report highlights the powerful influence of trusted loved ones, and the need to provide education to those who are unsure about receiving the vaccine.

“Conversations with family members and friends have played a major role in persuading people to get vaccinated,” the report said. About 17 percent of adults who are now vaccinated after being vaccine-hesitant/resistant during January say they were persuaded by a family member and 5 percent say they were persuaded by a friend, the report notes.

Among the key takeaways:

  • Following through:  92 percent of people who planned to get vaccinated as soon as possible have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while more than half of those who said they would “wait and see” have received at least one dose
  • Influence from others:  More than 20 percent of adults who “planned on waiting to get vaccinated, would only get it if required, or would definitely not get vaccinated” are now vaccinated. Many in this group cited the influence from friends, family, their personal doctors, as well as the incentive to safely visit loved ones as motivation
  • Spreading awareness:  Nearly two-thirds of vaccinated adults have tried to persuade close friends or family members to get vaccinated

The report also indicates the reasons why some people opt against receiving the vaccine, such as concerns about side effects (21%) and questions about the vaccine's testing, speed, and development (16%). Others reported that they would continue to wait and see, didn't normally get vaccines, or had medical conditions that prevented them from receiving the vaccine.

Most commonly, vaccinated adults reported feeling safe (24%) and relieved (22%) after getting vaccinated. “Other positive feelings reported were freedom, confidence, and more certainty that if they did get COVID-19 it would be less serious or they were less likely to die from it,” the report noted.

Nearly 61 percent of Pennsylvanians 18 and older are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

HAP and Pennsylvania’s hospitals strongly encourage residents who haven’t received the COVID-19 vaccine to talk with their health care provider and to make an appointment. The vaccines are safe, effective, and widely available in your community.

Learn more online about the available options near you.