Concerns About COVID-19 Vaccines Remain High
A majority of Americans think COVID-19 vaccines are effective, but have concerns about side effects.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 56% of American Adults believe COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing infection with the virus, including 26% who say the vaccines are Very Effective. Thirty-eight percent (38%) don’t think the vaccines are effective, including 19% who believe they are Not At All Effective. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Fifty-seven percent (57%) are concerned that COVID-19 vaccines may have major side effects, including 31% who are Very Concerned. Forty percent (40%) aren’t concerned, including 18% who are Not At All Concerned about major side effects from the vaccines. These findings show little change since last December.
Sixty-eight percent (68%) of adults say they’ve gotten a COVID-19 vaccination, and a majority (56%) of vaccinated adults report no side effects from the vaccine. Thirty-four percent (34%) say they had minor side effects and seven percent (7%) reported major side effects from the vaccine.
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The survey of 1,000 U.S. American Adults was conducted on November 30-December 1, 2022 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Significantly, unvaccinated adults are far more likely to doubt the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, and are more concerned about side effects, compared to those who are vaccinated. Only 21% of unvaccinated adults believe COVID-19 vaccines are at least somewhat effective at preventing infection with the virus, compared to 73% of vaccinated adults. Likewise, 80% of the unvaccinated are at least somewhat concerned that COVID-19 vaccines may have major side effects, compared to 46% of vaccinated adults.
More Democrats (83%) than Republicans (65%) or those not affiliated with either major party (58%) have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.
While 80% of Democrats believe COVID-19 vaccines are at least somewhat effective at preventing infection with the virus, only 40% of Republicans and 45% of the unaffiliated share that confidence. Similarly, only 43% are at least somewhat concerned that COVID-19 vaccines may have major side effects, compared to 74% of Republicans and 56% of the unaffiliated.
Sixty-eight percent (68%) of whites, 58% of blacks and 74% of other minorities have gotten vaccinated against COVID-19. Majorities of every racial group – 55% of whites, 56% of blacks and 61% of other minorities – are at least somewhat concerned about major side effects from COVID-19 vaccines.
Older Americans are much more likely to have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Americans 65 and older have gotten the vaccine, as have 71% of those ages 40-64, but just 56% of adults under 40.
Men (73%) are more likely than women (63%) to have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. Women under 40 are least likely to have been vaccinated against the virus.
Americans with annual incomes below $50,000 are most likely to have concerns about side effects from COVID-19 vaccines. Those with incomes over $200,000 a year are most likely to have gotten vaccinated against the virus.
Concerns about COVID-19 vaccine side effects are highly correlated with doubts about the vaccine’s effectiveness. Among those who believe the vaccines are Very Effective at preventing infection with COVID-19, only 14% are Very Concerned about major side effects from the vaccine. By contrast, among those who think COVID-19 vaccines are Not At All Effective, 71% are Very Concerned about side effects.
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Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.
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The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on November 30-December 1, 2022 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research.
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