30% Of U.S. Adults Are Still Unvaccinated — Here’s What Could Make Them Finally Get The Shot

New research suggests that Americans who are resistant to being vaccinated against Covid-19 can be persuaded by coaxing family members and friends, addressing safety concerns, and making it easier to access the vaccine. However, incentives for getting the shot are not as persuasive as free ones.

The Deloitte survey revealed that Americans who are not vaccinated could be persuaded using tactics such as making vaccines more accessible or encouraging their friends and family to do so. getty

The Key Facts

The Deloitte Center of Health Solutions conducted a survey of 1,200 adults in the U.S. between August 13 and 27. It found that 34% of them would be more likely to receive the shot if the appointment was scheduled during routine doctor's visits. 17% of respondents said they refuse to get vaccinated. According to the survey, 34% would be more likely get vaccinated if there was a mobile clinic that came to their area (46% of respondents were on the fence and 14% are against it), a doctor administering the vaccine at their home (48% and 16%), and if they happened to pass a vaccination site with appointments (46% and 15%). Unvaccinated respondents rank their family members as the main source of Covid-19 information, even above their doctor. 59% of those who have been vaccinated previously said that they were able to get the shot thanks to friends and family. Unvaccinated respondents that said they would get the shot stated that 34% of them now plan to do so because someone they trust has done it. 28% said they were motivated by a conversation they had with a trusted person. 57% said they might be influenced if people they care about ask them for the shot. Unvaccinated respondents on the fence expressed concerns about vaccine safety as one of the main reasons they are hesitant to get vaccinated. 79% stated that getting more information would influence their decision (74% said it would), and 74% said that it would influence their decision. 47% said that if there is a safer vaccine (74%) and if the vaccine doesn't require a needle (47%). The majority of fence respondents said that they could be influenced by the vaccine being required for daily activities. This suggests the effectiveness of vaccine mandates and 61% of them agreed with this. 56% also stated that they could be influenced by their family asking them to inoculate them.

Surprising Fact

Officials push Covid-19 vaccine incentives such as cash payments, million dollar lotteries and other incentives to encourage more people to get vaccinated. However, the Deloitte survey showed that only 5% of respondents who were vaccinated said it was an incentive that motivated their decision to get the shot. Although incentives for second doses may be effective, 18% of people who only received the first dose of the vaccine claimed they didn't get the second because they weren’t given an incentive.

Big Number

70.2% This is the percentage of adults in the United States who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, as of Tuesday, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, 80.8% of those vaccinated have received at least one dose.

What we don't know

It's not clear how developments since August's Deloitte survey, such as the Biden administration's September vaccine-or-test mandates for many employees, may now be impacting the thinking of unvaccinated individuals. The survey was also being conducted when the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine, rather than an emergency use authorization. This may have helped some people. 72% of those who were unsure about the vaccine said that they would be more likely to purchase it if one of the shots was approved by the FDA.


The Deloitte survey was not only focused on adults, but vaccine hesitancy is now an issue for children aged five to eleven who are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Although polling shows that many parents remain unsure or opposed to vaccination, an October Ipsos survey found that some may be convinced by strategies such as a recommendation from their child’s healthcare provider, mandates in schools, or full FDA approval.

Important Background

Vaccine refusal and hesitancy have been a major issue during the vaccination rollout. Misinformation about the shots is pervasive despite the fact that there is ample evidence to show they are safe and effective in protecting against serious illness, hospitalization, and death. Unvaccinated people are most likely to be opposed to the shot because of concerns about side effects or how quickly they were approved. Demographics such as Republicans, rural residents, and younger Americans have been the most reluctant groups to get vaccinated.

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