Mask usage, social distancing, racial, and gender correlates of COVID-19 vaccine intentions among adults in the US

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Vaccine hesitancy could become a significant impediment to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. The current study examined the prevalence of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and factors associated with vaccine intentions. A national panel survey by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) was designed to be representative of the US household population. Sampled respondents were invited to complete the survey between May 14 and 18, 2020 in English or Spanish. 1,056 respondents completed the survey—942 via the web and 114 via telephone. The dependent variable was assessed by the item “If a vaccine against the coronavirus becomes available, do you plan to get vaccinated, or not?” Approximately half (53.6%) reported intending to be vaccinated, 16.7% did not intend, and 29.7% were unsure. In the adjusted stepwise multinominal logistic regression, Black and Hispanic respondents were significantly less likely to report intending to be vaccinated as were respondents who were females, younger, and those who were more politically conservative. Compared to those who reported positive vaccine intentions, respondents with negative vaccine intentions were significantly less likely to report that they engaged in the COVID-19 prevention behaviors of wearing masks (aOR = 0.53, CI = 0.37–0.76) and social distancing (aOR = 0.22, CI = 0.12–0.42). In a sub-analysis of reasons not to be vaccinated, significant race/ethnic differences were observed. This national survey indicated a modest level of COVID-19 vaccine intention. These data suggest that public health campaigns for vaccine uptake should assess in greater detail the vaccine concerns of Blacks, Hispanics, and women to tailor programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0246970
JournalPloS one
Issue number2 February
StatePublished - Feb 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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