New Informa Pharma Intelligence report shows that while vaccine hesitancy creates an uphill battle for herd immunity, virus manageability may be possible as the U.S. marches toward July 4 deadline of 70% of American adults partially vaccinated
NEW YORK, June 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Informa Pharma Intelligence, the global business intelligence provider for the biopharma industry, released its “Q2 2021 Clinical Trials and the COVID-19 Vaccine Pulse Report,” revealing an uphill battle for the United States as nearly a quarter of Americans remain hesitant around taking a COVID-19 vaccine.
The study, conducted online with the third-party research firm YouGov, uncovered not only the American public’s sentiment around available COVID-19 vaccines, but also how their trust in pharmaceutical companies and understanding of clinical trials have changed following sentiments captured in Informa Pharma Intelligence’s 2020 Pulse Report when the first vaccines were still awaiting authorization for emergency use in the United States.
Vaccine Hesitancy Remains as U.S. Shifts Goal from Herd Immunity to Virus Manageability
Following the U.S. surpassing a huge milestone of 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations, achieving the next 100 million will be even more challenging as vaccine hesitancy remains among the American people.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of Americans say they would choose none of the three vaccines currently available from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson based on Phase III clinical trial results. However, over three-quarters (77%) say they would choose one of the vaccines available, with Pfizer-BioNTech the preference by far (with 42% selecting it). With the previous goal of herd immunity shifting toward virus manageability, President Biden’s new aim of ensuring 70% of American adults have received at least one shot by July 4 could be attainable if current attitudes don’t worsen.
Americans reported their top choice of COVID-19 vaccines based on Phase III clinical trial results:
- Pfizer-BioNTech – 42%
- Moderna – 25%
- Johnson & Johnson – 9%
- None of these – 23%
Understanding of Clinical Trials Up Among Americans
Although vaccine hesitancy remains, levels of understanding have improved nearly two-fold following sentiments captured in Informa Pharma Intelligence’s 2020 Pulse Report when the COVID-19 vaccines had yet to be made available in the United States.1
In fact, the percentage of Americans saying they’d be more likely to take a COVID-19 vaccine if they had more information on the clinical trials has dropped by half since 2020 (14% from 28%). Furthermore, the number of Americans saying they’d be more likely to participate in a clinical trial doubled from 7% in 2020 to 13% in 2021. This may show that Americans are far more versed on vaccine clinical trial data due to the U.S. government and vaccine makers communicating this information more effectively since fall 2020.
Americans report additional attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccines, pharmaceutical companies and clinical trials, revealing further drops in negative perception:
- 18% don’t trust how quickly the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials are moving (down from 35% in 2020)
- 16% don’t think pharma companies have consumers’ best interests in mind during clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine (down from 23% in 2020)
The Future of COVID-19 Vaccine Development
As pharma looks to the future of vaccine development, Americans report the following clinical trial factors as critical for them to be more likely to take a vaccine:
- More than one in five (22%) Americans would be more likely to take a COVID-19 vaccine if the clinical trials showed sufficient results of working against new variants
- Over a quarter (28%) of Americans with children under 18 would be more likely to have their child take a COVID-19 vaccine if they knew pediatric clinical trials showed sufficient safety and efficacy
- More than one in seven (13%) Americans would be more likely to take a COVID-19 vaccine if they knew the clinical trials were demographically diverse
“The U.S. is heading toward long-term management of COVID-19, but vaccine hesitancy is still a significant threat in terms of full mitigation,” said Karen Currie, MPH, Executive Director of Citeline at Informa Pharma Intelligence. “Transparency, consistency and accuracy in communication around the vaccines will be essential to turning the tide on the spread of the virus. This report reveals the importance of public health experts tailoring their outreach to specific groups, especially those that are reporting higher rates of hesitancy, with detailed information on safety and efficacy from clinical trials. Trust must continue to be built among the American people, government and pharmaceutical companies as we work together to save lives, effectively corner the virus and emerge from this pandemic.”
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1327 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between April 21 and 22, 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+).
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1 New responses were added to comparative questions within the Q2 2021 survey that did not appear in the 2020 survey, including a “none of these” option.