New Poll: Vaccine Confidence Rising Despite Johnson & Johnson Pause
Americans see CDC/FDA decision as part of rigorous safety review; partisan divide on vaccination is narrowing
Apr 20, 2021, 09:00 ET
BETHESDA, Md., April 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans consider the CDC and FDA's decision to pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine proof that rigorous safety monitoring is working, according to a national poll conducted April 15-16 by pollster Frank Luntz for the de Beaumont Foundation. Seventy-six percent said the action does not decrease their likelihood of getting vaccinated, and an overwhelming majority (87%) of those who have been vaccinated said they would "definitely" make that same decision again.
"Americans recognize the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause for what it is -- a clear sign that our safety protocols are working the way they're supposed to," said Brian C. Castrucci, DrPH, president and chief executive officer of the de Beaumont Foundation. "Government officials must continue to be transparent and to use clear, consistent language about the vaccines."
"The communication efforts, for the most part, are working," Luntz said. "But to reach the more hesitant populations, it's going to take doctors and public health leaders, not politicians."
Poll findings reveal that the perception gap about vaccines between Republicans and Democrats seems to be narrowing. Sixty-three percent of all respondents, 60% of Trump voters, and 72% of Biden voters said they agree with the statement "The bottom line is COVID-19 vaccines save lives, and Americans should continue to get vaccinated as soon as possible." Only 16% of all voters and 19% of Trump voters disagreed. A similar number, 61% of all voters and 60% of Trump voters, said they agreed with the statement "The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective." That compares with 66% of Biden voters. Read more at debeaumont.org/changing-the-covid-conversation.org/JJ.
Overall, 40% of respondents said they were more likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine than they were a month ago – including 38% of Trump voters and 48% of Biden voters. Among all poll respondents, 46% said they had already been vaccinated, including 43% of Trump voters and 52% of Biden voters. Of those, 48% have received the Moderna vaccine; 46% Pfizer; and 7% Johnson & Johnson. Among those who have not been vaccinated, only 19% said they would "definitely not" get vaccinated, including 23% of Trump voters and 10% of Biden voters.
"There are still meaningful, measurable differences between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to their acceptance of COVID vaccines," Luntz said. "The good news is that the partisan gap is decreasing and overall vaccine confidence is rising."
A full 71% of Trump voters said they have either received at least one dose of a vaccine or definitely or probably will -- up from 59% in a de Beaumont poll conducted just one month ago (March 14-16).
Received at least 1 dose
Key Findings on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
There are some signs of concern about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Nearly one-third of voters (32%) said they would never get a J&J vaccine. That includes 44% of Trump voters and 18% of Biden voters. Respondents said the following messaging would be most assuring about the safety of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine:
- Safety monitoring is working and the government is prioritizing the safety of Americans. The safety monitoring system for vaccines identified the issue as soon as it arose, and this was shared with the public transparently, showing a commitment to safety.
- As of today, fewer than 10 people -- of the 6.8 million who have gotten the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to date -- have reported serious blood clotting side effects.
- These events are extremely rare. The chance of being struck by lightning is literally twice that of getting a blood clot from the J&J COVID-19 vaccine.
- The risk of getting a serious blood clot from the J&J COVID-19 vaccine is less than of getting a blood clot from birth control medication, from smoking, or for those hospitalized with COVID-19.
Given the decision by the FDA and CDC to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, do you think that there will be more serious side effects from all the COVID-19 vaccines, or is it an isolated situation?
- 61% This is an isolated situation. The vaccines are generally safe.
- 39% This is the first of many serious side effects we will hear about.
Given the decision by the FDA and CDC to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, do you think people should...?
- 63% Continue to get vaccinated as soon as they can with the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
- 37% Slow down and wait to get vaccinated until we have more information about the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine side effects.
Is the decision by the FDA and CDC to pause the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while they study the severe illnesses that have developed in six women...?
- 53% A good example of the rigorous safety monitoring of the COVID-19 vaccines that is in place to protect Americans.
- 29% A good example of why the COVID-19 vaccines are possibly unsafe, untested, and should not be taken unless you absolutely have to.
- 19% It really doesn't matter to me.
The poll was followed by an April 18 nationwide focus group with 17 Trump voters who said they will "possibly" get vaccinated or probably will not. The purpose of the focus group was to better understand people's reaction and concerns surrounding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause and help identify language that would further build vaccine confidence.
The poll is the fourth in a series of national polls focused on "Changing the COVID Conversation," designed to guide more effective public health messaging during this pandemic among diverse populations, including Black Americans, Latinx communities, Republicans, rural residents, and others. For details, visit https://debeaumont.org/changing-the-covid-conversation.
The nationwide survey was conducted April 15-16 by pollster Frank Luntz, with 1,000 registered voters, including an oversample of 200 voters age 18-34, modeled demographically based on voter turnout in the 2020 presidential election (+3% margin of error).
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, visit debeaumont.org.
About Frank Luntz
Frank I. Luntz, PhD, has written, supervised, and conducted more than 2,500 surveys, focus groups, ad tests, and dial sessions in more than two dozen countries and six continents over the past 35 years. He has worked for more than 50 Fortune 500 companies and CEOs, but he's best known for political commentary. More media outlets have turned to Dr. Luntz to understand the hopes and fears of Americans than to any other political pollster. For more information, visit filuntz.com.
SOURCE de Beaumont Foundation
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