TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 14, 2021) – Researchers with the University of South Florida School of Public Affairs, in partnership with Cyber Florida at the University of South Florida, have released the first set of results from a nationwide survey that measures attitudes and opinions about COVID-19 vaccines, as well as potential federal stimulus policies.
Among the key findings:
While a majority of Americans say they will probably get vaccinated, many remain concerned about the efficacy and safety of recently approved vaccines.
• Just more than a third of respondents (38%) said that they “will definitely get vaccinated” in the coming months. More than half (59%) said they would either “definitely” or “probably get vaccinated”, while roughly a quarter (23%) said they will “probably not” or “definitely not get vaccinated”.
• More than a quarter of respondents (29%) said that they are either “not very confident” or “not at all confident” that the recently approved vaccines are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Roughly one-third of respondents (33%) said that they are either “not very confident” or “not at all confident” that the recently approved vaccines are safe.
• A significant majority of respondents (71%) said that they are at least “somewhat concerned” about the potential side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 32% indicating that they are “very concerned”.
Some minor differences in vaccination plans emerged across demographic groups.
• Male respondents were more likely than their female counterparts to indicate that they will get vaccinated; 64% of men said they will either “probably” or “definitely get vaccinated”, compared to 53% of women.
• White and Hispanic respondents were more likely than African-American respondents to indicate that they will get vaccinated. Sixty percent of both whites and Hispanics said they will either “probably” or “definitely get vaccinated”, compared to only 49% of African Americans.
• Those over the age of 65 are most likely to get vaccinated; 76% say they “probably” or “definitely” will. A majority of the youngest respondents (between 18-24) also indicated that they will likely get vaccinated (60%). Vaccination plans were lowest among middle-aged respondents, only 48% of those between 45 and 54 indicate that they are likely to get vaccinated.
Most Americans have not talked to their doctor about the COVID-19 vaccine.
• Only 21% of Americans have talked to their primary care doctor about whether a COVID-19 vaccine is appropriate for them.
• The most commonly cited sources of information that respondents have used to learn about the COVID-19 vaccine include television news (57%); friends, family and coworkers (40%); and social media (32%).
• Less than a third of respondents reported using government webpages such as the CDC (30%); a medical professional (28%); or medical webpages such as WebMD (25%) to learn about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Americans overwhelmingly favor additional federal stimulus policies in response to COVID-19.
• More than three-quarters of respondents (79%) indicate that they would either “somewhat support” or “strongly support” providing additional $2,000 stimulus payments to Americans, as well as extending federal unemployment benefits for out-of-work Americans.
• A similar number (75%) say that they would support extending the “pause” on student loan repayments, while 71% would support extending a federal moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.
• Notable majorities would support the federal government providing financial relief to small businesses (87%), hard-hit industries (68%), and local governments (66%).
• Democrats were more supportive of potential stimulus policies, but majorities in both parties indicated support for each proposed measure.
Many Americans continue to support stronger COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
• Two-thirds of respondents (66%) said that they would either “somewhat support” or “strongly support” a nationwide mask mandate, including penalties for non-compliance.
• Roughly half of all respondents (51%) indicated that they would support “a national shutdown of non-essential businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19”.
• There were notable partisan differences in support for mitigation policies. Two-thirds of Democrats (65%) voiced support for a nationwide mask mandate, compared with less than half of Republicans (45%). A majority of Republicans (60%%) indicated that they would also oppose a national shutdown of non-essential businesses.
The survey included a representative sample of 1,003 voting-age Americans, fielded Jan. 9-12, 2021. Results are reported with a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error +/- 3%.
A second round of results from this survey are set to be released within the next two weeks. These will examine social media usage and online behavior related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, placing it in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF has earned widespread national recognition for its success graduating under-represented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher income students. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at www.usf.edu.
About Cyber Florida
The Florida Center for Cyber Security (also known as Cyber Florida) was established by the State of Florida in 2014 to make the Sunshine State one of the most cyber-secure in the nation by promoting cybersecurity education, research, and outreach in partnership with the 12 State University System of Florida (SUS) institutions. Hosted by the University of South Florida, the Center is committed to increasing the number of K-12 students interested in and prepared for careers in cybersecurity and related STEM disciplines.