Predictors of intention to vaccinate against COVID-19: Results of a nationwide survey

Jeanette B. Ruiz, Robert A. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus citations


Background: Public polling indicates that vaccine uptake will be suboptimal when COVID-19 vaccines become available. Formative research seeking an understanding of weak vaccination intentions is urgently needed. Methods: Nationwide online survey of 804 U.S. English-speaking adults. Compensated participants were recruited from the U.S. through an internet survey panel of 2.5 million residents developed by a commercial survey firm. Recruitment was based on quota sampling to produce a U.S. Census-matched sample representative of the nation with regard to region of residence, sex, and age. Results: COVID-19 vaccination intentions were weak, with 14.8% of respondents being unlikely to get vaccinated and another 23.0% unsure. Intent to vaccinate was highest for men, older people, individuals who identified as white and non-Hispanic, the affluent and college-educated, Democrats, those who were married or partnered, people with pre-existing medical conditions, and those vaccinated against influenza during the 2019–2020 flu season. In a multiple linear regression, significant predictors of vaccination intent were general vaccine knowledge (β = 0.311, p < .001), rejection of vaccine conspiracies (β = −0.117, p = .003), perceived severity of COVID-19 (β = 0.273, p < .001), influenza vaccine uptake (β = 0.178, p < .001), having ≥ 5 pre-existing conditions (β = 0.098, p = .003), being male (β = 0.119, p < .001), household income of ≥ $120,000 (β = 0.110, p = .004), identifying as a Democrat (β = 0.075, p < .029), and not relying upon social media for virus information (β = -0.090, p 〈0 0 2). Intent to vaccinate was lower for Fox News (57.3%) than CNN/MSNBC viewers (76.4%) (χ2 (1) = 12.68, p < .001). Political party differences in threat appraisals and vaccine conspiracy beliefs are described. Conclusions: Demographic characteristics, vaccine knowledge, perceived vulnerability to COVID-19, risk factors for COVID-19, and politics likely contribute to vaccination hesitancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1080-1086
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 12 2021


  • Conspiracy beliefs
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Media
  • Social media
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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