The release of COVID-19 vaccinations has been a symbol of hope to many people — -and a source of hesitancy to some. For our second survey on COVID-19 vaccination perceptions and behaviors (which we will refer to as “survey 2” throughout this blog post), we wanted to understand how people were feeling about the vaccines as people first started getting access to them. We launched the survey in January 2021, and are excited to share some preliminary results with you!

For an overview of the study objectives, methods, and results from the first perceptions and behaviors survey, please see our original blog post here.


100,080 people (“participants”) completed survey 2. 54,701 have completed all surveys in the study so far. The mean age of survey 2 participants was 37.4 (standard deviation: 12.2 years). The majority of survey 2 participants identified as female (80.8%) and identified as white (78.0%).

Participant ages range from 18 to 100+, with a high peak around 30 and a slightly smaller one around 50

Vaccination Likelihood and Hesitancy

One of our main focuses for this survey was to examine how COVID-19 vaccination likelihood and hesitancy has evolved over time.

11.4% of participants had already gotten a COVID-19 vaccine when they took the survey, with an additional 0.6% reporting participating in COVID-19 vaccination trials:

Bar chart showing responses to the question “Have you gotten a COVID-19 vaccine”. More than 80% of participants said they have not yet gotten a COVID-19 vaccine; less than 20% said they have (the bar for “in vaccine trial” is too small to see)

Overall, survey 2 participants reported being more positive about COVID-19 vaccination than they had been previously. 30% of participants reported feeling more likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine than they had been a month ago:

Bar chart showing responses to the question “Compared to 1 month ago, do you feel like your likelihood of getting a COVID-19 vaccine has changed?”. Approximately 60% say no, 30% say that it’s more likely, less than 10% say they don’t know, and even fewer say that it’s less likely.

People reported a range of reasons for their likelihood of vaccination increasing, with some common responses including:

  • Feeling more informed about COVID vaccination overall (for example, “learned more information about it”, “just thinking and researching”)
  • Feeling more confident about COVID vaccination safety as more data and research were released (for example, “more data on potential side effects”, “studies are getting better and more people are receiving it.”)
  • Feeling more confident about COVID vaccination safety as they saw their friends, family, and community starting to get vaccinated (for example, “seeing those I respect get it”, “watching people I know get it with little adverse side effects”)

We saw a similar trend looking at the differences between reported vaccination likelihood in the first and second surveys; mean reported likelihood was 4.93 in survey 1 (median=5), and 6.53 in survey 2 (median=8.0):

Bar chart showing answers to the question “How likely are you to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s released”. Answers range from 0 to 10, with bars for both survey 1 and survey 2 shown for each answer. The most striking results are the decrease in “0” responses and the increase in “10” responses. In general, survey 2 participants seem to also be more confident (i.e., selecting answers closer to 0 and 10 more often and answers in the middle less often).

Although the majority of participants (51.5%) still report being more hesitant about COVID-19 vaccines than other vaccines, a higher percentage of survey 2 participants reported being equally or less hesitant than survey 1 participants:

Bar chart showing Survey 1 and Survey 2 responses to the question “Compared to other vaccines, how hesitant do you feel about the COVID-19 vaccine?”. 20% fewer people said they were “more” hesitant in Survey 2 (S1: approximately 70%, S2: approximately 50%), with approximately 10% more saying they’re “equally” hesitant and 5% more saying they’re “less” hesitant.

Vaccination Informedness

As mentioned above, one common reason people gave for their increase in vaccination likelihood was feeling more informed about the vaccines. Our data reflect this increase in self-reported informedness; in survey 1, only 27.1% of participants reported feeling “informed” or “very informed”, but 53.3% did so in survey 2:

Bar chart showing Survey 1 and Survey 2 answers to the question “Overall, how informed do you feel about the COVID-19 vaccine?”. Almost 20% of survey 2 participants report feeling “very informed” (up from less than 10% in survey 1), and more than 30% report feeling “informed” (up from about 20%). “Not at all informed” responses went from 20% in survey 1 to around 5% in survey 2.

The most common pieces of information unvaccinated participants reported needing to know before deciding to get the COVID-19 vaccine were all potential side effects (62.7%) and possible long-term impacts of vaccination (58.9%).

We look forward to further investigating these current perceptions and behaviors and see how they change as more people become eligible for vaccination!

Next Steps

To understand how people’s perceptions and behaviors related to COVID-19 vaccination continue to evolve as vaccines become available more broadly, we will send additional surveys over the following months asking for Achievement members’ perceptions and behaviors. The exact dates of these future surveys will depend on developments in the pandemic and COVID-19 vaccination, so stay tuned for more!

We could not conduct this research without our community of Achievers, so thank you again to everyone who participated!

If you would like to participate in future surveys in this study, sign up for Achievement.

If you’d like to get vaccinated, see this CDC page with resources to find appointments near you.

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