COVID-19 continues to occupy our minds and affect our everyday lives. As vaccinations rolled out, questions emerged around what new directions the virus would take. For our third survey on COVID-19 Vaccination Perceptions and Behaviors (“Survey 3”), which was open between April and June 2021, we wanted to understand how people’s feelings and behaviors evolved as vaccination efforts continued in our communities.

We learned what percentage of members had gotten at least one vaccine, when they decided to get vaccinated, and what activities they felt comfortable resuming. The data also show interesting shifts in behaviors and mindsets compared to our previous surveys, and we’re excited to dive into some of the details with you below!

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

Background

74,740 people (“participants”) completed Survey 3. The average age of participants was 39.1, which is slightly higher than the previous surveys. Most participants identified as female (80.7%) and identified as white (79.6%).

Figure shows a histogram with the reported age of participants on the x axis and the percent of that age on the y axis. Ages ranged from 18 to 100, though very few were over 78. The distribution has two peaks: one around 30, which reaches about 3.5%, and one around 50, which reaches about 2%.

Vaccination Perceptions and Behaviors

The main focus for this survey was to examine people’s beliefs and preferences around COVID-19 vaccination now that access to the vaccine is more widespread.

72.6% of Survey 3 participants reported having received at least one COVID-19 vaccine.

This percentage represents a substantial increase compared to our last survey, in which only 11.4% of participants had received a vaccine. We expected to see an increase since more people were eligible for vaccination during Survey 3 than in Survey 2 (which launched in January 2021), but were surprised by the magnitude: for comparison, only about 63% of the US adult population had received at least one vaccine when the survey closed (see here for the CDC’s summary of COVID and US vaccination in early June).

Bar chart showing the percent of participants who have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine (~70%), who have not gotten at least one vaccine (~30%), and who are in a vaccine trial (so few that the bar isn’t even visible).

A majority of vaccinated participants received the Pfizer vaccine (53.8%), followed by Moderna (39.2%) and Johnson & Johnson (6.7%).

Bar chart showing the percent of vaccinated participants who got the Pfizer vaccine (>50%), the Moderna vaccine (about 40%), and the J&J vaccine (<10%). The graph also shows “unsure” and “other”, but so few participants selected those options that no bars are visible for them.

Most vaccinated participants were eager to get the vaccine as soon as they became eligible. (63.3%).

Bar chart showing the the percent of participants who decided to get vaccinated ASAP after becoming eligible (>60%), >4 weeks after (about 10%), <1 week after (about 10%), 1–2 weeks after (a little less than 10%), and 2–4 weeks after (a little less than 10%). Bars are shown in descending order (in the order described here).

For many people, increasing access to COVID-19 vaccination was accompanied by a return to certain activities that had been put on hold. Between April and June, 47% of vaccinated participants started attending indoor events with others who are vaccinated, and 43.9% began eating in restaurants again. Meanwhile, 15.9% of participants reported that they had not yet resumed any activities.

Bar chart listing the percent of vaccinated participants who have resumed large events (about 10%), indoor events with other unvaccinated people (about 25%), indoor events with other vaccinated people (almost 50%), in-person work or school (about 30%), eating in restaurants (about 40%), indoor fitness (about 15%), travel my plane (about 15%), public transportation (<10%), or other (<5%). About 25% reported already doing everything even before vaccination; <20% haven’t resumed anything yet.

Changing Trends Over Time

We were happy to see a number of positive trends when we looked at evolving perceptions throughout the three surveys we’ve completed in the series so far. For example, Survey 3 participants tended to report lower hesitancy about COVID-19 vaccines compared to previous surveys.

Bar graph showing vaccination hesitancy from 0 (not at all hesitant) to 10 (very hesitant) across the 3 surveys. Trends show that more survey 1 participants reported higher hesitancy than survey 2 participants, and survey 3 participants were even less hesitant. For example, 5% of S1 participants were not at all hesitant, 15% of S2 participants, and >17.5% of S3 participants; almost 20% of S1 participants reported being very hesitant, about 13% of S2 participants, and about 12% of S3 participants

This decrease in hesitancy may be due to an increase in information: Survey 3 participants reported feeling even more informed about the vaccines than previous survey participants. 68.9% of people reported feeling “informed” or “very informed”, compared with 53.3% in Survey 2 and 27.1% in Survey 1.

Bar graph showing change in participant informedness across the 3 surveys. In S1, 20% were not at all informed, 25% slightly informed, 30% moderately, 20% informed, and <10% very informed. In S2, only 5% were not at all informed, about 10% were slightly informed, 30% moderately, 35% informed, and 20% very informed. In S3, about 3% were not at all informed, 5% slightly, 25% moderately, almost 40% informed, and 30% very informed.

Participants also reported being increasingly likely to get their children vaccinated when they could. 37.2% of participants reported that they would vaccinate their children when they were able to, compared to 26.9% in Survey 2 and 19.2% in Survey 1.

We look forward to exploring more about decisions to vaccinate children in our next Perceptions and Behaviors survey.

Bar graph showing the change in percentages of people planning to get their children a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s released. In S1, about 20% said yes, 35% said no, >40% were unsure, and about 5% expected to be unable to. In S2, 25% said yes, < 30% said no, 30% were unsure, and 15% expected to be unable to. In S3, >35% said yes, <30% said no, less than 25% were unsure, and more than 10% expected to be unable to.

Next Steps

To understand how people’s perceptions and behaviors related to COVID-19 vaccination have continued to evolve as variants spread and vaccines became available to children, we will soon send an additional survey on Achievement members’ perceptions and behaviors. Stay tuned for more!

We could not conduct this research without our community of Achievement members, 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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