Influences on Attitudes Regarding Potential COVID-19 Vaccination in the United States

Vaccines (Basel). 2020 Oct 3;8(4):582. doi: 10.3390/vaccines8040582.


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world, with the United States being highly affected. A vaccine provides the best hope for a permanent solution to controlling the pandemic. However, to be effective, a vaccine must be accepted and used by a large majority of the population. The aim of this study was to understand the attitudes towards and obstacles facing vaccination with a potential COVID-19 vaccine. To measure these attitudes a survey was administered to 316 respondents across the United States by a survey corporation. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the relationships of several factors with attitudes toward potential COVID-19 vaccination. Prior vaccine usage and attitudes predicted attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination. Assessment of the severity of COVID-19 for the United States was also predictive. Approximately 68% of all respondents were supportive of being vaccinated for COVID-19, but side effects, efficacy and length of testing remained concerns. Longer testing, increased efficacy and development in the United States were significantly associated with increased vaccine acceptance. Messages promoting COVID-19 vaccination should seek to alleviate the concerns of those who are already vaccine-hesitant. Messaging directed at the benefits of vaccination for the United States as a country would address the second predictive factor. Enough time should be taken to allay concerns about both short- and long-term side effects before a vaccine is released.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; vaccine attitudes; vaccine development; vaccine hesitancy.