Survey Respondents: 69% Say They Want to get COVID-19 Vaccine

By Welltok Marketing

Welltok recently asked 1,000 adults across the U.S. what they really think about the COVID-19 vaccine. For a summary of the findings, check out the below article from HealthLeaders, who interviewed Welltok's Chief Strategy Officer, April Gill, for a quick a recap. 

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A new survey highlights people's attitudes about coronavirus vaccination and suggests good strategies for healthcare providers to communicate with patients about getting coronavirus vaccines.

Vaccination hesitancy among the American public is one of the primary challenges facing the coronavirus vaccination effort across the country. Vaccination is widely viewed as essential to controlling the coronavirus through herd immunity, which occurs when a large proportion of a population develops resistance to an infection.

The new survey was conducted in December by Denver-based Welltok and Ipsos, a Paris, France-based market research company. The online survey features information collected from 1,000 U.S. adults nationwide.

The survey includes several key findings:

  • The Top 3 desired sources of information on coronavirus vaccines were healthcare providers (86% of survey respondents), health insurance company (81%), and pharmacy (79%)
  • 69% of survey respondents said they would get the vaccine when it became available to them
  • 64% of survey respondents said they wanted reminders for second doses of the vaccine
  • Among survey respondents who said they would not get the vaccine, 64% cited side effects as the cause of their vaccination hesitancy
  • 82% of people who were immunized for influenza this year intend to get the COVID-19 vaccines
  • 51% of people who did not get the flu shot this year intend to get the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Age was strongly correlated with intent to get vaccinated: 82% of people 55 and over planned to get vaccinated, 65% of people 35 to 54 planned to get vaccinated, and 58% of people 18 to 34 planned to get vaccinated

"The COVID-19 vaccines offer a ray of hope for many, but just because vaccines are available doesn't mean everyone will get the shot. Getting people vaccinated against COVID-19 will require personalized and consistent outreach," the survey report says.

Healthcare Provider Messaging About Coronavirus Vaccination

Clinicians and other healthcare providers are well-positioned to be a trusted source of information about the coronavirus vaccines, Welltok Chief Strategy Officer April Gill told HealthLeaders.

"Healthcare providers see their patients year over year. Healthcare providers track your progress as a human being from a medical standpoint, and they help patients determine when something is wrong. So, they have to be a trusted source of information about patient health," she said.

Healthcare providers can ease people's concerns about coronavirus vaccination side effects, Gill said.

"You need to be able to assure people that vaccinations are not new and explain that vaccines go through a vigorous process of clinical trials and testing before they are released to the public. In addition, patients can be told that the side effects associated with the COVID-19 vaccines are similar to the side effects for other vaccines—they are relatively mild. The side effects include some redness or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, and muscle aches that typically resolve themselves within a few days."

To encourage younger people to get coronavirus vaccination, healthcare providers can appeal to their relationships with family members, she said. "Young people need to know that when they interact with older people in their family, they are putting those people at risk if they do not get the vaccine. This is part of focusing on values and focusing on what people want to do in their lives. Focusing on what is important to young people such as spending time with older family members is critical."

For healthcare providers, the top methods of communication preferred by survey respondents were personal email, phone calls, text messages, postcards, work email, and social media posts.

"Based on the survey data, there is plenty of information indicating that messaging should be conducted in multiple channels so that you can reach as many people as possible. Healthcare providers should be using every channel at their disposal to get vaccination messaging out," Gill said.

Healthcare providers should also vary their messaging to appeal to specific populations, she said. "For example, older patients are going to have different motivations and things that they are considering than younger patients such as being able to spend time with grandchildren and enjoy their retirement. For younger patients who may feel invincible, clinicians can tell them how vaccination is important to protect the people they care about.

Original article appeared in HealthLeaders - 1/25/2021