Poll: More than One-Third of Unvaccinated Adults Say FDA Approval of Vaccines Would Address Their Safety Concerns

National survey shows that messaging focused on extensive safety data is most likely to boost confidence in vaccines

Bethesda, Maryland, UNITED STATES

Bethesda, MD, Aug. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In a national poll conducted just days before the FDA announcement about the Pfizer vaccine, more than one-third of unvaccinated adults (35%) said the FDA's full approval of one of the vaccines would address most or all of their concerns about the vaccines' safety and effectiveness. Another 20% said it would address "some" of their concerns. The poll -- conducted August 19-22 by data intelligence company Morning Consult on behalf of the de Beaumont Foundation -- also identified messages that would make unvaccinated adults feel more confident in the vaccines following FDA approval. See detailed results and graphs, including tested messaging.

“These findings tell us that FDA approval matters to a large number of Americans who have not been vaccinated,” said Brian C. Castrucci, DrPH, president and chief executive officer of the de Beaumont Foundation. “Public health experts, medical professionals, business leaders, the media, and others have a critical opportunity to emphasize that the vaccines are safe and effective – and to combat disinformation that contradicts those facts.”

In the poll, a quarter of the respondents said the following messages would make them somewhat more confident or much more confident:

  • FDA's full approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine is an important milestone that should reassure anyone who has concerns about getting vaccinated.
  • All three COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective, based on extensive clinical trials and the fact that nearly 200 million Americans have received at least one shot without major complications.
  • With the FDA granting full approval for a COVID-19 vaccine, Americans can be even more confident that the COVID-19 vaccines work and are safe.
  • All three COVID-19 vaccines work. They reduce the risk of getting COVID-19 and greatly reduce your risk of being hospitalized or dying.
  • For people who have said they will "wait and see," the results are in -- the COVID-19 vaccines work, and they're safe.

Among a list of options, respondents were asked to choose what would have the biggest impact on their decision to get a COVID-19 vaccine. A full 39% of unvaccinated adults chose FDA approval as their first or second choice, with the next closest options being employer requirements, less testing, access to public events, and encouragement from their children.

In a poll conducted the first week of August, more than half of unvaccinated parents said the FDA’s full approval would make them more confident in the vaccines and would make them more likely to get their children vaccinated. That poll also found that 81% of unvaccinated parents said they think vaccines for diseases like measles and mumps are safe for children, compared with only 60% who said the COVID-19 vaccines are safe for children.

Dr. Castrucci said, “Our message to parents should be: If you trust the safety of vaccines for measles and mumps, we have good news. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine now has the exact same level of approval as those childhood vaccines.” 

Methodology: On behalf of the de Beaumont Foundation, data intelligence company Morning Consult conducted an online survey between August 19-22, 2021 among a sample of 2,500 U.S. adults, including an oversample of 300 unvaccinated adults. Across the national sample and oversample, the sample size was 956 unvaccinated adults. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of +/- 2%, and results among unvaccinated adults have a margin of error of +/- 3%. Frank Luntz and the de Beaumont Foundation helped create the questionnaire.

About the de Beaumont Foundation

Founded in 1998, the de Beaumont Foundation creates and invests in bold solutions that improve the health of communities across the country. The Foundation advances policy, builds partnerships, and strengthens public health to create communities where people can achieve their best possible health. For more information, visitdebeaumont.org.




Chart showing that 35% of unvaccinated U.S. adults say full approval of one of the COVID-19 vaccines would address all of most of their concerns about the safety and effectiveness of all three COVID-19 vaccines.

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