Correlates and Disparities of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

20 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2020

See all articles by Timothy Callaghan

Timothy Callaghan

Texas A&M University

Ali Moghtaderi

The George Washington University

Jennifer A. Lueck

Department of Communication

Peter J. Hotez

Baylor College of Medicine

Ulrich Strych

Department of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology

Avi Dor

Case Western Reserve University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Erika Franklin Fowler

Wesleyan University - Government

Matt Motta

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater

Date Written: August 5, 2020

Abstract

Objective: To understand the correlates of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the American public and the reasons why individuals intend to refuse a COVID-19 vaccine.

Rationale: Recent polls suggest that a significant share of the American public is reluctant to receive an impending COVID-19 vaccine. However, far less is known about which Americans are most likely to refuse the vaccine and their reasons for reluctance. Understanding these issues is critical to developing effective health communications to improve COVID-19 vaccination and end the pandemic.

Method: We rely on a demographically representative survey of 5,009 American adults collected from May 28-June 8, 2020. We analyze the influence of demographic factors, political ideology, and COVID-19 experiences on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.

Results: 31.1% of Americans do not intend to pursue getting vaccinated when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available. The likelihood of refusal is higher for Blacks, women, and conservatives. People who are more concerned about COVID-19 were less likely to refuse the vaccine. Positive views of vaccination in general (vaccines are safe, effective, and important) were also negatively associated with vaccine refusal intention. The two most cited reasons for refusal are concerns about vaccine safety, and effectiveness. Reasons for reluctance vary across sub-populations. Women were most likely to be hesitant based on concerns about safety and efficacy. Blacks were more likely to be hesitant than Whites because of concerns about safety and efficacy, because they lack needed financial resources or health insurance, and because already had COVID-19.

Conclusion: Large proportions of the American public do not intend to pursue a vaccine against COVID-19 once it becomes available, reducing its potential impact. Blacks are particularly likely to be hesitant, exacerbating existing disparities in COVID-19 outcomes.

JEL Classification: COVID-19, Vaccination, Health Disparities, Hesitancy

Suggested Citation

Callaghan, Timothy and Moghtaderi, Ali and Lueck, Jennifer A. and Hotez, Peter J. and Strych, Ulrich and Dor, Avi and Franklin Fowler, Erika and Motta, Matt, Correlates and Disparities of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy (August 5, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3667971 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3667971

Timothy Callaghan

Texas A&M University ( email )

College Station, TX 77807
United States
979-436-0960 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://public-health.tamu.edu/directory/callaghan.html

Ali Moghtaderi (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

950 New Hampshire Ave NW
Suite 609
Washington, DC 20052
United States

Jennifer A. Lueck

Department of Communication ( email )

Langford Building A
798 Ross St.
College Station, TX 77843-3137
United States

Peter J. Hotez

Baylor College of Medicine

One Baylor Plaza
Apt 510
Houston, TX TX - Texas 77030
United States

Ulrich Strych

Department of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology ( email )

One Baylor Plaza
Houston, TX 77030
United States

Avi Dor

Case Western Reserve University - Department of Economics ( email )

Cleveland, OH 44106
United States
216-368-4110 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Erika Franklin Fowler

Wesleyan University - Government ( email )

United States

Matt Motta

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater ( email )

Stillwater, OK 74078-0555
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
162
Abstract Views
1,472
rank
204,409
PlumX Metrics